In states that made medical marijuana legal, prescriptions for a range of drugs covered by Medicare dropped. Chris Hondros/Getty Images hide caption

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An independent commission recommended changes to Medicare Part D, including reducing or waiving copayments for generic drugs for low-income enrollees. Shana Novak/Getty Images hide caption

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Pharmacists in California will have to give women a short health consultation before providing contraceptives without a prescription. Media for Medical/UIG via Getty Images hide caption

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Michelle Pattengill, a technician at L&S Pharmacy in Charleston, Mo., holds a bottle of oxycodone. Bram Sable-Smith/Side Effects Public Media/KBIA hide caption

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Bram Sable-Smith/Side Effects Public Media/KBIA

"Everyone that's in there right now has probably done it," Clyde Polly says about Opana injections at his home. Seth Herald for NPR hide caption

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Seth Herald for NPR

Inside A Small Brick House At The Heart Of Indiana's Opioid Crisis

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The question of how pharmaceutical payments to doctors affect medical practice has been fraught. Hero Images/Getty Images hide caption

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Hero Images/Getty Images

Drug-Company Payments Mirror Doctors' Brand-Name Prescribing

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Tim Kilroy runs a business from his home in Arlington, Mass. His insurance company quit covering the long-acting Ritalin that helps him manage his ADHD. Ellen Webber for NPR hide caption

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Ellen Webber for NPR

Fight To Lower Drug Prices Forces Some To Switch Medication

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Nexium is one of several popular medications for heartburn and acid reflux called proton-pump inhibitors. Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

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Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Popular Acid Reflux Drugs Are Linked To Kidney Disease Risk

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Anatomy Of Addiction: How Heroin And Opioids Hijack The Brain

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FDA Approval Could Turn A Free Drug For A Rare Disease Pricey

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Carmen Smith now gets the insulin she needs via her doctor's prescription. When she lacked health insurance, buying a version of the medicine over the counter was cheaper, she says. But it was hard to get the dose right. Lynn Ischay for NPR hide caption

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Lynn Ischay for NPR

You Can Buy Insulin Without A Prescription, But Should You?

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AIDS activists poured cat litter on an image of Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli during an October protest in New York. Craig Ruttle/AP hide caption

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Craig Ruttle/AP

Senate Questions 'Egregious' Price Hikes For Specialty Medicines

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A "speedball" mix of heroin and cocaine has caused overdose deaths for decades. Today, high-risk blends may alternatively include heroin or opioid pain pills plus Klonopin, Clonidine, or Fentanyl. Marianne Williams Photography/Flickr RM/Getty Images hide caption

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Drug Cocktails Fuel Massachusetts' Overdose Crisis

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Overdoses of hydrocodone and other opioid painkillers caused more than 16,000 deaths in 2013, according to the CDC. Photo Researchers, Inc./Science Source hide caption

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Photo Researchers, Inc./Science Source

A recent analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that Medicare recipients taking Revlimid for cancer could end up paying, on average, $11,538 out of pocket for the drug in 2016, even if the medicine is covered by their Medicare Part D plan. Carmine Galasso/MCT/Landov hide caption

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Carmine Galasso/MCT/Landov