Insurance companies dropping prescription drug coverage

Elaine Moore writes,

With the increasing costs of specialized drugs, some insurance companies are refusing to pay for drugs prescribed for off-label conditions …

Health policy analysts caution that the benefits off-label drugs offer in conditions for which other drugs have failed will be seriously compromised by these new insurance regulations.

Furthermore, off-label drugs such as naltrexone, which is relatively inexpensive at less than $100 per month, would be put in the same (unapproved for payment) category as Genetech’s Avastin (bevacizumab), which typically costs $4,400 per month. Avastin is approved for lung and colorectal cancers, but not for brain tumors because of limited evidence validating efficacy despite promising results in patients.

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