Trending News Today: Specialty Drugs Drive Prescription Spending Growth

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

Congress is split over a bill that would provide $920 million to treat opioid misusers. The bill would provide states with additional funding to train first responders, create alternatives to incarceration, and investigate ways to stop opioid distribution, according to The New York Times. Democrats expressed concern that funding may be a problem, suggesting that they delay the bill.

Specialty drug spending has increased rapidly over the past decade. A new study found that prescription drug spending increased from 11% in 2003 to 43% in 2014, and specialty spending accounted for 1.8% of these prescriptions in 2014. The researchers also found that out-of-pocket costs increased 46% during that time, according to The New York Times.

Researchers are now urging men with advanced prostate cancer to undergo genetic testing to find inherited genetic mutations. The recommendation comes from a recent study that found 12% of men with advanced prostate cancer had mutated genes that fix damage to DNA, according to The Washington Post. The genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, are associated with breast and ovarian cancers.