Trending News Today: Manufacturers May Soon Need to Justify High Drug Cost Increases

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

Today, a bipartisan group of Senate and House members plan to introduce a bill that forces drug manufacturers to explain to the Department of Health and Human Services why a price hike of more than 10% is justified, at least 1 month before the increase occurs. Companies would have to disclose their spending on research and development, marketing and advertising, manufacturing, and profit information, which would all be made public, excluding confidential or proprietary details, according to USA Today. “This legislation would bring much-needed transparency to prescription drug prices,” Sen. John McCain, wrote in an email to USA Today. “Transparency leads to accountability, and it is past time that mantra applied to the skyrocketing cost of prescription medication.”

A new study provided additional information for men who are deciding which treatment option is best for their prostate cancer in its early stages, reported The New York Times. For 10 years, researchers followed patients to find there was no difference in death rates between men who were randomized to have surgery or radiation, or to rely on active monitoring of the cancer, receiving treatment only if the cancer progressed. Overall, death rates from prostate cancer were low, with only about 1% of patients 10 years after diagnosis. However, men who opted for monitoring rather than early treatment were more likely to have their disease progress. Approximately half of the study patients who had started out being monitored ended up having surgery or radiation. Currently, the patents are still being followed, and will reveal whether the death rate will eventually increase for the men assigned to monitoring. Physicians said the findings should only help reassure men that surgery and radiation are equally reasonable treatment options in the early stages of prostate cancer, reported the Times.

New research reveals that household dust may contain potentially harmful chemicals, reported The Washington Post. For the study, researchers analyzed dozens of studies from coast-to-coast, and found that a majority of the dust samples contained the same types of chemicals, many of which come from common household items. Some of these included flame retardants that are commonly found in furniture, highly fluorinated chemicals used in non-stick cookware, and phthalates which are in an array of items, such as cosmetics, toys, and food packaging. Furthermore, some research on animals suggests that phthalates could disrupt hormones and affect the reproductive system.