Study: Over-the-counter drugs could save billions

In addition to the economic analysis, CHPA released a survey of primary-care doctors. A vast majority — 88 percent — said they recommend that patients try over-the-counter drugs and other at-home treatments before turning to a professional.

Under the healthcare reform law, patients can only use tax-preferred Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) to buy over-the-counter drugs if they have a doctor’s prescription. Critics of the provision say it undermines consumer choice, by limiting the use of HSAs, while also encouraging unnecessary visits to the doctor and thereby increasing healthcare costs.

Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchOvernight Finance: NAFTA defenders dig in | Tech pushes Treasury to fight EU on taxes | AT&T faces setback in merger trial | Dems make new case against Trump tax law | Trump fuels fight over gas tax What sort of senator will Mitt Romney be? Not a backbencher, even day one Lawmaker interest in NAFTA intensifies amid Trump moves MORE (R-Utah) has sponsored a bill to repeal the limits.

The insurance industry also recently released data on the increasing use of HSAs.