The Presidential Daily Brief

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    Despite Epidemic, Insurers Restrict Non-Opioid Drugs

    It all comes back to money. America’s opioid crisis, which has seen deaths from prescription drug overdoses quadruple since 2015, may be exacerbated by health plans that don’t cover alternatives that are less addictive but cost insurers more money. Almost every Medicare plan analyzed covered cheap, addictive opioids, which have become the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., while far fewer covered alternatives or addiction treatment. Pharmaceutical companies pushing OxyContin and opioids have been fined hundreds of millions — but this new data raises questions about where responsibility lies.

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