McCaskill calls for fix to drug price trends addressed in new report

Brand name drugs most commonly used by older adults have seen consistent increases over the last five years, according to a new report from the office of U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat.

The report identified the top 20 most commonly prescribed drugs in the Medicare Part D program, which offers prescription drug coverage to older adults. The report found that drug prices rose at an average of 12 percent each year from 2012 to 2017.

For more than half the drugs examined, prices increased more than 50 percent each year. Prices for Nitrostat, a drug used to treat chest pain, for example, jumped 477 percent over the five-year period.

McCaskill suggested addressing the increasing drug prices by allowing Medicare to negotiate cheaper prices by using its large volume of purchases.

McCaskill said she is co-sponsoring a legislation to eliminate patent loopholes that allow drug makers to continue using new patents to protect drugs from generic competition.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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