KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

8.5 Million On Medicare Get Opioids

Elsewhere, those who switch to a newer type of insulin find added cost.

USA Today: Seniors' Use Of Potent Meds Via Medicare Staggering
The number of senior citizens getting narcotic painkillers and anti-anxiety medications under Medicare's prescription drug program is climbing sharply, and those older patients are being put on the drugs for longer periods of time, a USA TODAY examination of federal data shows. From 2007-2012, the number of patients 65 and older getting Medicare prescriptions for powerful opioid pain medications rose more than 30 percent to upward of 8.5 million beneficiaries, the data show (Eisler, 6/10).

NPR: Switching To Newer Insulin For Type 2 Diabetes Comes At A Cost
Many people with diabetes have switched to newer forms of insulin called analogs, because they can make the disease easier to manage. But that switch can be expensive, a study finds (Shute, 6/10).

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