Medicare spending $9B on hepatitis C drugs
WASHINGTON - New government figures show Medicare spending on breakthrough medications for hepatitis C will nearly double this year, passing $9 billion.
That's going to raise insurance costs for all beneficiaries, whether or not they have the liver-wasting disease.
Cost estimates show that Medicare's popular prescription drug program will spend more than $9 billion on hepatitis C drugs this year, a 96 percent increase from $4.7 billion in 2014.
"Hep C" is a viral illness affecting some 3 million people in the U.S. and claims more lives here than AIDS. More than 3 in 4 adults currently infected are baby boomers, the age group now entering Medicare.
New drugs cure the disease, but treatment costs from $80,000 to $100,000. Drug prices are the public's top health care concern in opinion polls.
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
Update on Crane Demolition in NOLA
St. George annexation petition expected to be filed Monday
Pointe Coupee Parish prioritzed 30 roads for repair
Planned implosion at collapsed New Orleans hotel has been completed
Risque painting at downtown art gallery causes rubber-necking among sidewalk traffic