Aiming for Alternative Drugs

Americans frequently cite the rigorous, above-board testing of prescription drugs as one of government’s most important functions, and health insurance companies use such seals of approval in policy-coverage decisions. However, some consumers seem to prefer unorthodox, untested, unregulated products and, backed by lobbyists for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), are challenging insurers for “discriminating” against these “drugs,” especially in the game-changing rules of the new Affordable Care Act. A Forbes.com columnist explained in August what would happen if CAM prevails: “You could start offering dried bird poop for arthritis, call it ‘avian nature therapy,’ and if an insurer won’t pay for it, you can sue.”

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