Harvoni can cure hepatitis C, but the drug costs a fortune. Are loans to patients the answer? Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun/TNS via Getty Images hide caption

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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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Drug-Company Payments Mirror Doctors' Brand-Name Prescribing
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Cancer And Arthritis Drugs Drive Up Spending On Medicines
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Barbara Radley, of Oshkosh, Wis., has diabetes, liver failure and scleroderma. Even filing for bankruptcy early last year didn't stop her financial woes, she says. The medical bills keep piling up. Jason Houge for NPR hide caption

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Medical Bills Still Take A Big Toll, Even With Insurance
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States can't compel self-insured employers to provide claims data for analytical purposes, the Supreme Court held. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Multiple sclerosis pill Tecfidera is on the top 10 list of most costly specialty drugs, as measured by overall spending, for California's health benefit system for public workers and retirees. John/Flickr hide caption

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Martin Shkreli was CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals when the company boosted the price of a drug by 5,000 percent. He has since resigned. Paul Taggart/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

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Breast cancer drug Herceptin is one of the medicines that are typically covered by insurers but often at a high out-of-pocket cost for patients. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images hide caption

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A Yale University study analyzed the experience of 60 million Americans covered by traditional Medicare between 1999 and 2013, and found "jaw-dropping improvements in almost every area," the lead author says. Ann Cutting/Getty Images hide caption

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Happy 50th Birthday, Medicare. Your Patients Are Getting Healthier
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