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New deals for drugs: No heart attack or your money back

May 3, 2017

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Warranties and money-back guarantees, long used to entice buyers of products like hand tools and kitchen gadgets, are now being used to sell pricey new-generation drugs for diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and cancer.

This week the drugmaker Amgen struck a deal with the insurer Harvard Pilgrim to refund the company if patients have a heart attack or stroke while taking its drug.

These deals are part of an effort to align the cost of care with the quality of care, and slow the growth of prescription drug costs.

For the patient, it doesn’t mean a check in the mail if cancer comes back after a round of treatment. But it does mean patients could get a drug that an insurer might otherwise be unwilling to pay for.

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