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March 6, 2018

Legal Challenges to State Drug Pricing Laws

Author Affiliations
  • 1Yale Law School, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
  • 2Program On Regulation, Therapeutics, and Law (PORTAL), Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 3Collaboration for Research Integrity and Transparency (CRIT), Yale Law School, New Haven, Connecticut
JAMA. 2018;319(9):865-866. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.20952

In recent years, growth in spending on prescription drugs has been fueled by high prices of new therapeutic products, increases in the prices of available brand-name drugs, and substantial price increases for a small fraction of older generic drugs.1 These trends have attracted significant scrutiny from policy makers. High drug prices create health risks as well as financial risks for patients. Survey findings suggest that 24% of patients with cancer do not fill prescriptions because of factors related to costs,2 and one-third of nonelderly patients with cancer changed their prescription drug use (such as skipping doses or taking less medication) for financial reasons.3 Insurers, facing budgetary crises due to rising prices, have in many cases imposed higher premiums and higher out-of-pocket costs on patients.

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