Posts Tagged: costs

Opinion

Revamping ‘rebate wall’ could save billions in drug costs

Drugs arranged on shelves at a pharmacy. (Photo: SEE_JAY, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: California can once again be a national leader in pushing for cost-savings reforms in the healthcare field by being the first in the nation to address the practice of rebate policies that can bring balance and competition back to the pharmaceutical marketplace, which will help drive down drug costs and improve patient care. This policy challenge is called a rebate wall.

Opinion

Costly health care and pharmacy benefit managers

Drugs on a shelf for sale at a pharmacy. (Photo: i viewfinder, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: With the rising cost of health care at forefront of nearly every Californian’s mind, lawmakers in Sacramento are rightly considering a range of potential policy proposals to help rein in costs. In 2018, legislators took positive initial steps to regulate some of the egregious business practices of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) – little-known middlemen in the health care system who have contributed to rising costs.

Opinion

Bill restricting drug patent pacts could hurt consumers

An array of products on the shelves of a pharmacy. (Photo: Niloo, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Headlines continue to scream about the price of prescription medications skyrocketing. But here is some good news about drug costs: the price of generic medicines is falling. Fast. In California, generic prices decreased on average 15 percent per year over the last several years.  California residents spent $24 billion less on generics than on brand prescriptions in 2018. 

Opinion

Proposed scrap metal recycling rules poorly thought out

A big claw crane drops scrap onto a pile. (Photo: llucky78, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: Imagine if a government agency required nurses to endure the same costly and lengthy training as surgeons. Such overreach would result in fewer nurses and the demand for such skilled labor would reach a crisis.  While this extraordinary overreach is not occurring in the health care industry, it is when it comes to California’s regulation of the scrap metal recycling industry.

News

Newsom boosts pension-cost relief for schools

Near the entrance to the CalSTRS building in West Sacramento. (Photo: ZiKG, via Shutterstock)

School districts would get more pension cost relief under a revised state budget proposed last week by Gov. Newsom. The governor’s $700 million plan to lower scheool pension costs during the last two years of a seven-year CalSTRS rate increase would get an additional $150 million, if approved by the Legislature.

Opinion

Hospitals’ role crucial in expanded health care

An emergency room at a hospital in Palo Alto. (Photo: Jennie Book, via Shutterstock)

Today in California, the fifth largest economy in the world, we’ve made unparalleled progress toward our goal of health care coverage for all, but there are still roughly 2.8 million people without health care coverage. Take a moment to let that number sink in: 2.8 million.

News

Amid crisis, voters will confront housing options

Housing construction at a new California neighborhood.(Photo: Marilyn Volan)

As California rents and property values continue to rise, it should come as no surprise that three housing-related measures will face voters on the November ballot, targeting veterans’ home loans, local rent control and housing construction for the homeless. Statewide, the average rent on a one-bedroom apartment is about $1,400, and a home costs $440,000 — far more than double the national average of $180,000.

Opinion

Pharmacy benefit managers ease seniors’ drug costs

A photo illustration of drug costs, with prescription medication atop a dollar bill. (Image: Video_Creative)

OPINION: The Golden Years for senior citizens across the Golden State are longer and more active than for the generations that preceded us. This is a real gift, but it does mean most of us are battling age-related medical conditions, often dealing with them for decades. Prescription drugs are a big part of our healthcare toolbox, and today, almost 40 percent of senior citizens use five or more medications.

Opinion

Questionable move: Limiting drug makers’ gifts to doctors

A pharmacist checks the inventory. (Photo: Tyler Olson)

OPINION: Economist Noreena Hertz once said “We typically focus on anything that agrees with the outcome we want.” And certainly SB 790’s desired outcome – limiting any overprescription of more expensive drugs – seems to be what we – including myself – “want.” Unfortunately, the strict limits on “gifts” to providers from pharmaceutical manufacturers that it would impose seem a “solution in search of a problem.”

Opinion

The fight against chronic disease

A man's body seen from behind with dermatitis on the neck. (Photo: Naeblys, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: For the millions of Californians living with chronic health conditions like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, asthma and arthritis, securing adequate and affordable health care coverage can be a challenging feat.

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