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FDA approves the first generic version of EpiPen The Food and Drug Administration approved the first-ever generic version of EpiPen Thursday — a move the agency says could help lower costs for the drug, which can carry a price tag of more than $600. It isn’t clear how much the new version, which will be sold by Teva, will cost. But it may be a lower-cost option for individuals with allergies, who need to keep this lifesaving medicine with them at all times. Right now, a two-pack of EpiPen, marketed by Mylan, currently lists for $608.61. Mylan also makes its

own “authorized generic” version, which it sells for $300 per pair. The approval comes about two years after Mylan landed in hot water for drastically raising the price of its medicine while using its monopoly power to keep competitors out of the market. Since 2004, the company raised the price of EpiPen over 450 percent. The decision is a long-awaited victory for Teva, which has been trying to bring a generic EpiPen to the market for years.

It settled a patent infringement lawsuit with Mylan in 2012, agreeing to wait until mid-2015 to bring a generic onto the market. And then the FDA rejected its application in 2016. When asked, a Teva spokesperson did not specify how much the new medicine will cost. The medicine is not yet available for patients. The FDA cast the approval as a way to help patients with a cheaper alternative. The decision “is part of our longstanding commitment to

advance access to lower cost, safe and effective generic alternatives once patents and other exclusivities no longer prevent approval,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. People who need epinephrine auto-injectors can already look to several competitors. One, Auvi-Q, lists for $4,900 per two-pack, but the company has devised arrangements whereby both insured and uninsured individuals pay much less in cash. Another, Adrenaclick, comes in both a brand and generic version.

Tell your Members of Congress to Support Medically Necessary Dental Care People with Medicare face significant health risks because they do not have access to medically necessary dental care. There is an ongoing effort to urge CMS to use their existing administrative authority to allow this coverage, and we need your help! Ask your members of Congress to sign on to letters asking CMS to provide Medicare coverage for medically necessary dental care, as authorized by law.

Medically necessary dental care refers to care that is needed to resolve dental infections or diseases that risk complicating or standing in the way of receiving important, Medicare-covered treatments like chemotherapy, radiation, organ transplants, immunosuppression, and cardiac surgery. Currently, if a beneficiary

needs dental work done in order to undergo such a medical procedure, Medicare won’t cover the oral health work. This lack of treatment can exacerbate beneficiaries’ health conditions and increase Medicare’s costs for treating their illnesses. CMS has the authority to allow coverage for dental care in such medical circumstances. We need members of Congress to

urge CMS to exercise that authority. This effort has the support of a broad coalition, including 80 prominent organizations (AARP, ADA, Families USA, Medicare Rights Center, and numerous medical societies and associations) that understand just how important this coverage is. You can learn more by reading the coalition’s community statement.

Take action today.

Quick lessons to combat spin As pundits and politicians continue to discuss the deficit, misinformation and confusion about Medicare and the Affordable Care Act abound. All too often, facts seem to be drowned out by fiction. Particularly since the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable care Act, we are hearing a lot of misinformation about the law and its impact on Medicare. As these Myths make news — and old Myths make news again — the Center will

respond with facts and information The truth is, Medicare works. By and large it has been a resounding, cost-effective success. Nonetheless, Rep. Ryan and some candidates continue to propose changing Medicare into an individual voucher system that will hurt beneficiaries and their families, ignoring options for substantial savings that would not harm beneficiaries or eliminate the

Medicare program. This is particularly worrisome since half of all people with Medicare have annual incomes below $24,150, and already pay more out-of-pocket for health care than people with private insurance. To help dispel misinformation and try to set the discussion on a factual foundation, we’ve rounded up erroneous statements and countered them with the truth.

Help us set the record straight, shine light on fair, financiallysound policies, and demonstrate how Medicare works for millions of Americans – including your family and neighbors. Spread the word with our handy reference chart below, or from the more detailed articles that follow…..Read More

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RI ARA August , 2018 E-Newsletter  

RI ARA August , 2018 E-Newsletter  

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