Federal government spending for Medicare Part D catastrophic coverage soared in recent years, largely thanks to fast-rising prices for expensive specialty drugs used to combat hepatitis C, cancer, and multiple sclerosis, according to a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Specifically, the Part D plan paid $33.2 billion in 2015, up 208 percent from $10.8 billion in 2010, for pricey specialty medicines that are needed by beneficiaries once they left the so-called donut hole. This term refers to the moment when their annual out-of-pocket costs exceed a certain threshold, which was $4,700 in 2015. At that point, prescription drug coverage is called catastrophic coverage.

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  • This is outrageous. Amazing how crooked the pharmaceutical companies are and get away with it. Something has to be done.

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