RX DRUG COSTS II: Group Demands Better Data
To curb rising expenditures on prescription drugs, RxHealth Value, a coalition of consumer groups, unions and health insurers, challenged the drug industry Wednesday to provide better information on whether "new and improved" drugs are actually better than less expensive treatments, USA Today reports. "We can't expect an industry that generates profits by making drugs to provide us with independent, comparative information," John Golenski, executive director of RxHealth, said. The coalition -- which includes the AARP, AFL-CIO, Blue Cross/Blue Shield Association, National Consumers League, GTE, employer purchasing groups and PCS Health Systems -- hopes to raise $500,000 annually to research prescription drugs and provide information about the findings, as well as promote independent firms that compare medications, such as Rx-Intelligence. In addition, the group has asked the FDA to strengthen disclosure rules, forcing drug companies to more readily report harmful side effects in advertising and package inserts (Appleby, 5/11).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.