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NEWS
By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | August 22, 2012
Anne Arundel County officials said a renegotiated contract will save taxpayers $17.6 million in prescription drug costs over the next three years. A new $215 million deal with CVS Caremark provides cheaper prescriptions to county government and school system employees, their families and retirees, officials announced Thursday. County Executive John R. Leopold and Anne Arundel County Schools Superintendent Kevin M. Maxwell issued a joint announcement crediting the combined negotiating power of the organizations and the 22,500 people covered by the contract.
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NEWS
By Tracy Orwig | March 11, 2014
Health insurers in Maryland and throughout the country are jeopardizing patient health by dramatically and arbitrarily increasing the cost of vital medications. As insurers increasingly assign cancer treatments to so-called "specialty tier" cost structures, patients battling blood cancers and many other serious conditions are forced to pay prohibitively high out-of-pocket costs for their treatment, which causes many patients to go without treatment entirely. Rather than paying a standard copayment for medication, people whose medications are moved to specialty tiers - which include the newest, most effective and expensive medications - can find themselves paying coinsurance of up to 40 percent of the total cost of the drugs.
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HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker | July 25, 2012
Seniors in Maryland have saved $56.5 million on prescription drug costs because of a provision under health care reform that has eased the Medicare donut hole, new government data has found. The savings were achieved with rebates and discounts to ease the burden of the donut hole, when patients reach certain limits that require them to pay 100 percent of their prescription drug costs. The $56.5 million in savings has occurred since health reform was adopted, according to The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker | September 5, 2013
Patients who get painkiller Vicodin from their doctor's office will pay three times more than those who get it from pharmacist, a new study has found. The Workers Compensation Research Institute said the average price of the drug dispensed by a physician was $1.46 per pill compared to 37 cents per pill at a pharmacy. The report said that the costs of many drugs is higher at a doctor's office, an issue that has been debated but hasn't been addressed. The study looked at data from payors in Maryland representing 37 percent of claims filed in the state's workers' compensation system.
NEWS
By Andrea K. Walker and Andrea K. Walker,Sun reporter | September 23, 2006
A decision by retail giants Wal-Mart and Target to lower the price of hundreds of generic drugs signals a potential turning point in how much consumers pay for medication, some experts said yesterday. Wal-Mart announced this week that it would sell nearly 300 generic prescription drugs for as little as $4 for a month's supply. Target Corp. responded immediately, saying it would match the lower prices. For now, Wal-Mart is offering the discount only in its 65 stores in the Tampa, Fla., area.
BUSINESS
By David Kohn and David Kohn,Baltimore Sun reporter | February 15, 2009
Shop around 1 According to Tod Marks, a senior editor at Consumer Reports who focuses on prescription drugs, many consumers don't realize that drug costs can vary widely from one pharmacy to another. He recommends shopping around, and he says you can save hundreds of dollars if you are willing to do some price comparisons. "Pharmacies expect it," he says of the price questions. "These days there's complete price transparency. If you want to shop around, there's no doubt you can get the information you need."
NEWS
By Orlando Sentinel | November 17, 1993
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- If you want to know the cost of that much-needed prescription drug you're about to buy -- don't look to your doctors for guidance.Chances are they have only a vague idea or don't know at all. And don't be surprised if your pharmacist steps into the process, recommending cheaper generics or alternative medications.A pair of surveys released this week in Orlando show that not only are doctors generally unaware of how much the medications they prescribe cost their patients, but pharmacists are intervening aggressively in the doctor-patient relationship to lower costs.
NEWS
By Angela J. Bass and Angela J. Bass,angela.bass@baltsun.com | July 9, 2009
Regardless of income, Baltimore residents can expect to start saving an average of 22 percent on their prescription drug costs, thanks to the city's newly adopted prescription drug discount card program sponsored by the National Association of Counties. Residents can pick up the card at local pharmacies, health clinics and libraries, and begin using it right away to reduce drug costs without filling out an application. An entire family can use a single card. "The discount card offers significant savings for the uninsured and underinsured residents of our city," said the city's interim health commissioner, Olivia Farrow.
NEWS
By George F. Will | January 18, 2000
WASHINGTON -- One reason -- perhaps a sufficient reason; certainly a matter of life and death -- for hoping Bill Bradley defeats Vice President Al Gore is an accusation Mr. Gore makes about Mr. Bradley. Mr. Gore says that when, as a senator, Mr. Gore, "was fighting for the consumers," Mr. Bradley aided the pharmaceutical industry, for example by favoring extensions for some pharmaceutical companies' patents. Mr. Gore deplores this because patents, which give innovating companies a period without competition from generic versions of drugs they develop, provide temporary protection from downward pressure on drug prices.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser and Michael Dresser,Staff Writer | April 22, 1993
Lola Oriente, whose blood pressure recently measured a dangerous 196 over 115, isn't taking her medicine any more. She's trying garlic pills instead.An energetic woman of 70 who still teaches tap and ballroom dancing, Mrs. Oriente decided "this medication business is for the birds" after three years of paying $90 every few months for a prescription of the hypertension drug Vasotec.With a $22,000-a-year annual income and a husband whose own heart condition requires $200 worth of prescription medicine a -- month, Mrs. Oriente decided a year ago that she would rather take her chances on a stroke or heart attack than live like a pauper.
NEWS
By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | August 22, 2012
Anne Arundel County officials said a renegotiated contract will save taxpayers $17.6 million in prescription drug costs over the next three years. A new $215 million deal with CVS Caremark provides cheaper prescriptions to county government and school system employees, their families and retirees, officials announced Thursday. County Executive John R. Leopold and Anne Arundel County Schools Superintendent Kevin M. Maxwell issued a joint announcement crediting the combined negotiating power of the organizations and the 22,500 people covered by the contract.
HEALTH
By Andrea K. Walker | July 25, 2012
Seniors in Maryland have saved $56.5 million on prescription drug costs because of a provision under health care reform that has eased the Medicare donut hole, new government data has found. The savings were achieved with rebates and discounts to ease the burden of the donut hole, when patients reach certain limits that require them to pay 100 percent of their prescription drug costs. The $56.5 million in savings has occurred since health reform was adopted, according to The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
HEALTH
Andrea K. Walker | March 19, 2012
Medicare recipients in Maryland saved $46.2 million in prescription drug costs because of health care reform, the Obama Administration said today. The savings were achieved with rebates and discounts to ease the burden of the donut hole, when patients reach certain limits that require them to pay 100 percent of their prescription drug costs. The announcement was made as health care reform celebrates its second anniversary this week. In Maryland, 73,269 Medicare beneficiaries have saved an average of $630.19 onprescription drugs costs.  The savings came from a one-time $250 rebate check to seniors who hit the “donut hole” coverage gap in 2010 and a 50 percent discount on covered brand-name drugs in the donut hole in 2011.
BUSINESS
Eileen Ambrose | January 12, 2012
The Federal Trade Commission announced that CVS Caremark Corp. agreed to pay $5 million to settle a complaint that it misinformed seniors about the price of certain Medicare Part D prescription drugs sold through CVS and Walgreens pharmacies. The action by the company, according to the FTC, caused seniors and consumers with disabilities to pay significantly more for drugs. It also pushed them more quickly into the so-called “doughnut hole,” in which drug costs aren't covered by the federal program.
NEWS
By Renée Winsky | July 25, 2011
In the scramble to cut the nation's debt burden, President Obama, congressional Democrats and even some Republicans have proposed squeezing money out of Medicare by changing the way it pays forprescription drugs. They claim this would save $112 billion over 10 years. But if passed it would be a disaster, costing hundreds of thousands of jobs in the biopharmaceutical industry - an important contributor to the Maryland economy - driving up drug prices and discouraging drug innovation.
NEWS
By Angela J. Bass and Angela J. Bass,angela.bass@baltsun.com | July 9, 2009
Regardless of income, Baltimore residents can expect to start saving an average of 22 percent on their prescription drug costs, thanks to the city's newly adopted prescription drug discount card program sponsored by the National Association of Counties. Residents can pick up the card at local pharmacies, health clinics and libraries, and begin using it right away to reduce drug costs without filling out an application. An entire family can use a single card. "The discount card offers significant savings for the uninsured and underinsured residents of our city," said the city's interim health commissioner, Olivia Farrow.
BUSINESS
Eileen Ambrose | January 12, 2012
The Federal Trade Commission announced that CVS Caremark Corp. agreed to pay $5 million to settle a complaint that it misinformed seniors about the price of certain Medicare Part D prescription drugs sold through CVS and Walgreens pharmacies. The action by the company, according to the FTC, caused seniors and consumers with disabilities to pay significantly more for drugs. It also pushed them more quickly into the so-called “doughnut hole,” in which drug costs aren't covered by the federal program.
NEWS
By Tim Craig and Tim Craig,SUN STAFF | April 4, 2002
The Maryland Senate approved a bill yesterday that is designed to lower prescription drug costs for the state's Medicaid program. The proposal, which goes to the House of Delegates, would require the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to negotiate with drug companies for rebates on prescription drugs. The department would compile a list of drugs for which the state is getting rebates, and ask doctors to use the list when writing prescriptions for Medicaid patients. Doctors could prescribe other drugs, but only after getting the approval of state health officials.
BUSINESS
By David Kohn and David Kohn,Baltimore Sun reporter | February 15, 2009
Shop around 1 According to Tod Marks, a senior editor at Consumer Reports who focuses on prescription drugs, many consumers don't realize that drug costs can vary widely from one pharmacy to another. He recommends shopping around, and he says you can save hundreds of dollars if you are willing to do some price comparisons. "Pharmacies expect it," he says of the price questions. "These days there's complete price transparency. If you want to shop around, there's no doubt you can get the information you need."
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