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Trending News Today: Proposed Budget May Not Fully Address Cause of High Drug Costs

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.
Published Online: Feb 13,2018
Laurie Toich, Associate Editor
President Donald Trump’s fiscal year 2019 budget request may begin to address high drug costs, but it might not be enough to actually lower prices, Kaiser Health News reported. The proposed budget seeks to cut billions from Medicare funding and changes drug spending in Medicaid. While the cuts will have a big impact due to the magnitude of these safety net programs, the changes may not be groundbreaking, and addressing the underlying issue of high drug costs will be key, according to the article.

A recent study found that federal research funding contributed to the approval of 210 drugs between 2010 and 2016, highlighting the importance of spending on scientific research, according to STAT. The authors found that more than $100 billion in funding from the National Institutes of Health contributed to these approvals, accounting for approximately 20% of the agency’s spending since 2000. Notably, more than $64 billion contributed to the approval of 84 drugs that were first-in-class, which treat diseases through new mechanisms or targets, according to the article.

Growing evidence suggests that ovarian cancer may begin in the fallopian tubes, not the ovaries, according to The Wall Street Journal. Currently, there is no effective way to screen for ovarian cancer and it typically is not diagnosed until later stages when it has metastasized. Understanding where the disease starts may lead to better ovarian cancer prevention and treatment strategies, according to the article.