Medicare payment plan on cancer drugs sparks furious battle

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WASHINGTON (AP) – A Medicare proposal to test new ways of paying for chemotherapy and other drugs given in a doctor’s office has sparked a furious lobbying battle.

Cancer doctors are demanding that the Obama administration scrap the experiment.

The vehement reaction raises questions about the government’s ability to tackle high drug costs – the top health care concern for the public.

At issue are some of the most expensive drugs for treating life-changing diseases.

The question isn’t whether those drugs are fairly priced. It’s whether Medicare’s current payment policy encourages doctors to prescribe the costliest medications so they can make more money.

Injected and infused drugs for such conditions as macular degeneration, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease are also affected.

Medicare wants to start the experiment in the fall.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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