• In this June 14, 2011 file photo, various prescription drugs on the automated pharmacy assembly line at Medco Health Solutions in Willingboro, N.J. A safeguard for Medicare beneficiaries has become a way for drugmakers to get paid billions of dollars for pricey medications at taxpayer expense, government numbers show. The cost of Medicare’s “catastrophic” prescription coverage jumped by 85 percent in three years, from $27.7 billion in 2013 to $51.3 billion in 2015, according to the program’s number-crunching Office of the Actuary.  (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

    Senator: Is Medicare drug plan vulnerable to exploitation?

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A senior senator is examining whether Medicare’s prescription drug benefit is vulnerable to manipulation by pharmaceutical companies that set very high prices for medications.

  • This June 8, 2012 file photo shows soul singer Sharon Jones of Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings performing during the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Manchester, Tenn. Jones is the focus of a new documentary, "Miss Sharon Jones!" that captures the stark difference between life on and off stage for the dynamic soul singer most often compared to James Brown. In 2013, Jones was diagnosed with stage-two pancreatic cancer. The film documents her transformation into cancer patient and, ultimately, back into a full-throated force. (AP Photo/Dave Martin, File)

    The show goes on for cancer-stricken Sharon Jones

    NEW YORK (AP) — Preparing to go on stage for the first time in months after intensive rounds of chemotherapy, an atypically nervous Sharon Jones sat backstage at New York’s Beacon Theatre, clutching a cup and shaking.

  • In this June 14, 2011 file photo, various prescription drugs on the automated pharmacy assembly line at Medco Health Solutions in Willingboro, N.J. A safeguard for Medicare beneficiaries has become a way for drugmakers to get paid billions of dollars for pricey medications at taxpayer expense, government numbers show. The cost of Medicare’s “catastrophic” prescription coverage jumped by 85 percent in three years, from $27.7 billion in 2013 to $51.3 billion in 2015, according to the program’s number-crunching Office of the Actuary.  (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

    AP Exclusive: Pricey drugs overwhelm Medicare safeguard

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A safeguard for Medicare beneficiaries has become a way for drugmakers to get paid billions of dollars for pricey medications at taxpayer expense, government numbers show.

  • In this June 14, 2011 file photo, various prescription drugs on the automated pharmacy assembly line at Medco Health Solutions in Willingboro, N.J. A safeguard for Medicare beneficiaries has become a way for drugmakers to get paid billions of dollars for pricey medications at taxpayer expense, government numbers show. The cost of Medicare’s “catastrophic” prescription coverage jumped by 85 percent in three years, from $27.7 billion in 2013 to $51.3 billion in 2015, according to the program’s number-crunching Office of the Actuary.  (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

    AP Exclusive: Medicare safeguard overwhelmed by pricey drugs

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A safeguard for Medicare beneficiaries has become a way for drugmakers to get paid billions of dollars for pricey medications at taxpayer expense, government numbers show.