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New York is having trouble affording prescription drugs for Medicaid patients and trying to do something about it, despite manufacturers’ ire. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Last week, as President Donald Trump delayed announcing his plan to bring down high drug prices, about a dozen physicians, pharmacists, actuaries and economists in Albany, New York, tried to make a difference. The state Medicaid program’s Drug Utilization Review Board voted 10-0 to lower the price New York would pay for Orkambi, Vertex Pharmaceuticals’ cystic fibrosis drug, to $83,000 per year, from $250,000.

As a lung physician, I appreciate that Orkambi does have benefits — it eases breathing and prevents some of the acute episodes that can land cystic fibrosis patients in the hospital. It is an improvement over what we had to offer when I was in my medical training.

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