prescription drugs

Capital University student Kathryn Poe spoke about about her concerns about the costs of medical care at a press conference with UHCAN.
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A group that supports single-payer health care is highlighting a study that shows Ohioans are worried about paying medical costs, and are taking dangerous steps because of it.

photo of governor Mike DeWine
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Many of Gov. Mike DeWine’s 25 budget vetoes had to do with changes to Ohio’s Medicaid system. And part of that involves the two pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, the state uses as middlemen between Medicaid and pharmacists. The budget tries to rein in overspending on prescription drugs by moving to one single state-controlled PBM.

Cuyahoga River dredging
Port of Cleveland

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, March 19:

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MARK AREHART / WKSU

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, December 10: 

KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A bipartisan bill dealing with how insurance companies deny certain treatments and drugs until other options are tried first is getting a final push in this lame duck session. And there’s a lawmaker who’s joining in on this effort – but as a patient.

Medications
TIM RUDELL / WKSU

Senator Sherrod Brown is welcoming President Donald Trump’s signing this week of two bills aimed at getting consumers better prices on prescription drugs. He says he’s hoping for similar bi-partisan action to rein in what he sees as another significant driver of healthcare costs.  

The measures signed into law this week are meant to create prescription cost transparency for consumers so they can find the lowest prices. 

photo of John Kasich
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A report from 60 Minutes and the Washington Post last week suggested Ohio-based Cardinal Health and other opioid painkiller distributors persuaded Congress to weaken the Drug Enforcement Agency’s authority. 

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It’s not unusual for pharmaceutical companies to offer payments to doctors – for speaking fees, for travel expenses, for lunches and for gifts. But a new study shows one in five family doctors in America have received a payment involving an opioid medication – and Ohio is among the top states in the country in terms of dollars involved in those payments.

photo of Gov. John Kasich
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Gov. John Kasich is implementing rule changes limiting how medical professionals can prescribe opioids. This plan comes just one day after majority Republicans in the House announced a bill that would accomplish many of the same goals.

Kasich’s plan would enact rule changes to limit opioid prescriptions to a seven-day supply for an adult and a five-day supply for children. He’s adamant these changes are going into effect soon and don’t need legislative approval.

Photo of Miranda Motter
Karen Kasler / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A new report from a group representing 15 health insurers operating in Ohio says managed-care is saving Medicaid a lot of money. Miranda Motter is the CEO of the Ohio Association of Health Plans. She says the report looked at costs from 2013 to 2015, and compared managed-care costs versus what would have been paid out under traditional fee-for-service plans.

“When you look at that two-year period of time, the savings was about $2.5 to $3.2 billion in lower costs.

photo of Shannon Trotter with  Rep. Nickie Antonio  Sen. Peggy Lehner and  Sen. Charleta Tavares
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Lawmakers are gearing up for a debate with health-insurance companies over a controversial drug prescription process which insurers say can be used to cut costs.

Sometimes when a patient gets a prescription filled, the health insurance company intervenes and requires using a cheaper drug first. It's called “step therapy.”

A bipartisan group of lawmakers are proposing a bill that would make sure there’s a clinical reason for the process , and it's not used just to save money.

photo of pills
JO INGLES / OPR

The Ohio Supreme Court says backers of a plan to cap the price Ohio pays for drugs it buys for Medicaid, prisons and other state-run programs fell short of the signatures they need to put it before voters next year. 

The court rejected more than 10,000 signatures turned in by Ohioans for Fair Drug Prices, leaving the group more than 5,000 signatures short.

Spokesman Ged Kenslea says the group has until Aug.25 to come up with more signatures to continue its campaign to take the proposal to lawmakers and eventually voters.

Photo of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency logo
WIKIPEDIA

Local police departments and hospitals will take part in the collection of prescription drugs this Saturday.

The event is a part of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, which aims to safely dispose of unused medications.

Special Agent Rich Isaacson of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency says the day’s also about keeping prescription drugs out of the hands of those who abuse them.

WIKIMEDIA

Pharmacy technicians are the people who assist the pharmacists by, among other things, filling prescriptions and handling the transactions. State leaders are now looking into ways to add more oversight on the profession. 

There are more than 42,000 pharmacy technicians in the state of Ohio. And while most are law-abiding citizens, some might be stealing from their own drug store.

photo of Mary Taylor
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

State officials are laying out guidelines for what doctors should consider before they prescribe addictive painkillers. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports.

 

Gov. John Kasich’s opiate action team’s new guidelines for acute pain ask doctors to go to therapy first, such as ice, heat and acupuncture. If a doctor does prescribe opiates, the guidelines ask that a minimum number of pills are doled out and that doctors avoid automatic refills.

photo of Mike DeWine
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

  The federal government is proposing new guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain. And as Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports, some state leaders are encouraging Ohioans to voice support for those changes now.

Attorney General Mike DeWine says it’s believed that three-quarters of heroin abusers in Ohio started off by using prescription pain meds.  That’s why he says new proposed guidelines for prescribing them need to be adopted.

“We are not going to arrest our way out of this problem.”