Aetna Inc.

Drug costs skyrocket for many older Americans, despite Medicare coverage

Drug costs skyrocket for many older Americans, despite Medicare coverage

To avoid liver damage, Roberta Solar, a 71-year-old cancer patient, has to take a medicine called ursodiol, perhaps for the rest of her life.

Next year her annual out-of-pocket costs for the drug will jump from $93 to $1,878 – a rise of almost 2,000%, according to information that she and her husband recently received from the insurer that covers their medicines under Medicare.  

The drug is just one of dozens of medications whose skyrocketing prices are increasingly hitting older Americans on fixed incomes. And that has renewed calls that the law be changed to allow Medicare, the government system that covers older Americans, to use its size and power to...

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