weekly blog--one for the ages
I had my first encounter with drug over pricing last week. A dermatologist prescribed an ointment to fight a fungal-based rash on my back. I made my way down to the pharmacy thinking the prescribed ointment under my Medicare prescription plan would cost no more than the usual $5 or $10.
Then the pharmacist alerted me that it would cost $300. However, she had smartly called the dermatologist to see if there was a lower-priced solution, which turned out to be a generic cream that cost $10…which got me to thinking--what if I had been diagnosed with cancer and the out-of-pocket cost would have been 10s of 1000s of dollars.
We all deserve the health care we need at the right time and from the right provider. But for many Americans this basic right is out of reach because of high out-of-pocket medical costs. Studies show that about one third of Americans report postponing needed care, not filling essential prescriptions, skipping necessary diagnostic tests and procedures, and avoiding seeing specialists due to cost.
Some pundits argue that people who pay more of their own health-care costs will make more careful decisions, which will help cut down on waste in the health-care system. However, several studies have found that patients cut back without distinguishing between high- and low-value care.
The bottom line: it is incumbent upon health plans, providers, drug manufacturers, device makers, regulators and policy makers to work together to lower the underlying cost of health care, and ensure that consumers do not bear the brunt of poorly functioning health-care markets that don’t deliver value.
Breaking News: Democrats Announce Three Prong Plan to Tackle High Drug Prices http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/24/democrats-better-deal-would-penalize-drug-price-hikes-240891?utm_campaign=KHN%3A%20Daily%20Health%20Policy%20Report&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=54646328&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9oHlHWiHcn-KgxOTOp8n4QAARrycLVRhzvefygEwwQQE-4pg_aFJfIPfwrrWhQL-QDDn0EklTEUOFdBGB89pPAe4V8eg&_hsmi=54646328