Prescription Drugs

NPR's Patricia Neighmond reports from Los Angeles on how the rising price of prescription drugs is pushing health care costs higher. Health maintenance organizations (HMOs) are passing more of the cost of medications on to patients in the form of higher co-payments for prescriptions. HMO's also are beginning to exclude so-called 'quality of life' medications from coverage, such as drugs for hair loss and impotence. And some managed health care plans are introducing a 'three-tier approach' under which patients pay a lower co-payment for generic drugs than for preferred brands.

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