Trending News Today: Greater Access Pushes Prescription Drug Costs Higher

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

The Census Bureau recently found that the uninsured rate dropped from 10.4% in 2014 to 9.1% in 2015. The total number of uninsured Americans decreased by 12.8% from 2013 to 2015, the first 2 years the Affordable Care Act was in effect, according to Kaiser Health News. The insurance rate has broken into the 90% range, the highest in recent history.

High health care costs can still push people into poverty, despite gains in insurance coverage. By calculating insurance premiums, copays, coinsurance, prescription drug costs, and uncovered medical costs, an additional 11.2 million Americans are living in poverty, according to CBS News. More access to health care has caused people to spend more out-of-pocket than they would have before gaining coverage, which can explain how so many people are considered to be living in poverty after health care costs.

The FDA recently criticized physicians who may downplay a drug’s suicide risks due to financial incentives. Research sites that studies of Pfizer’s smoking-cessation drug Chantix were less likely to report fewer side effects if they received at least $25,000 in speaking, consulting, or other fees, according to Bloomberg. This finding reinforces the federal government’s concern about financial payments and medical decisions.