Prescription drug prices are the focus, as a special state Senate committee looking at ways to improve health care has its second meeting today at the Minnesota Capitol. Chairman, Chaska Republican Scott Jensen, points to “incredible excursions” in prices for epipens and doxycycline, but says beyond that, “There are some studies that indicate pharmaceuticals take up almost 25 percent of the total sum spent on health care. Pharmacy used to be considered sort of a 10-percent kinda deal.” Jensen says pharmaceutical companies set exorbitant prices if the market will bear it, plus “our whole society has become remarkably inclined to take pills at the drop of a hat. Even though United States comprises five percent of the world’s population, the United States uses up 80 percent of all the narcotic prescriptions.”
Over the next six to eight months, the panel will examine many areas affecting health care costs and quality and Minnesota. They’ll make recommendations to the next legislature which convenes on February 20, 2018.
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