Trending News Today: Seniors Push for Federal Government to Negotiate Medicare Drug Prices

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

On Monday, an analysis was released by Kaiser Health News forecasting the state of the health insurance marketplace in 2017 if UnitedHealthcare pulls out. The analysis predicts that more than 1 million consumers would be left with a single health plan option and that this move would mostly effect states in the South and Midwest. However, most of the 34 states where UnitedHealth operates would experience a modest effect on premiums and the amount of plan options. “The marketplace should be judged by the choices it offers consumers, not the decisions of any one issuer,” said a spokesman for CMS, Benjamin Wakana. “That data shows that the future of the marketplace remains strong.”

A survey conducted by AARP revealed that 93% of adults 50-years-old and older believe the federal government should negotiate drug prices for Medicare and force drug makers to provide an explanation on how they set drug prices, reported USA Today. “Medicare has a louder voice and would be a better negotiator,” said Leigh Purvis, director of health services research in AARP's Public Policy Institute. Additionally, 98% reported that they should have the ability to compare prices and effectiveness of prescription drugs. “I think negotiation is imperative, but it's only a piece of the puzzle,” said Henry Waxman, a former house energy and commerce committee chairman. “You still have the question, 'What's a drug worth?' and 'is it worth it for the health system?’”

DalCor Pharmaceuticals, a London based startup company, is looking to revive a failed cholesterol drug, reported The Wall Street Journal. DalCor believes that a surprising genetic variation will be the key to the success of the industry’s greatest drug failure, dalcetrapib. So far the pharmaceutical company has raised $150 million in venture financing to start a 5000 patient trial using dalcetrapib. The drug was previously shelved by Roche Holding AG after it failed to prevent heart attack and strokes during a phase 3 study containing 16,000 participants.