Connecticut Health Care Cabinet mulls ways to fight spike in drug costs

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The state Health Care Cabinet met in Hartford Tuesday to discuss possible options to rein in runaway prescription drug prices. The state Health Care Cabinet met in Hartford Tuesday to discuss possible options to rein in runaway prescription drug prices.
STAMFORD -

The state Health Care Cabinet met in Hartford Tuesday to discuss possible options to rein in runaway prescription drug prices.

Connecticut health insurers are asking the state for large rate hikes, and state leaders believe halting the steady increase in drug prices will help keep costs down. Some Anthem policies could increase by 52 percent.

One of the ideas officials have is to create a state pharmacy benefits provider to lessen the influence of insurance companies on bottom-line pricing. The lieutenant governor and health care leaders say too many doctors are prescribing expensive brand-new drugs over cheaper generics.

Domenic Sammarco, of Stamford's Professional Pharmacy, says financial incentives could encourage pharmacists to intervene, even if it means less money for them.

Dr. William Handleman, a Torrington physician, suggests limiting free samples of high-priced drugs like Crestor when generics are just as effective.

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