Thursday, August 13, 2015

Rising Medication Costs

So, NBC news decided to do a click-bait style piece on the rising cost of prescription medications, tonight. They talked about the end-user effects but none of the underlying causes, so I decided to see why prices for existing medications were generally trending upwards in price rather than the downward that would be expected as mature products reached the point of "economies of scale". I found a ConsumerReports article on the subject. Interesting read.

Point #1 is kind of maddening. If you weren't covered by a large, powerful lobbying group and did the same thing, you'd end up jailed for price-gouging.

#3 is kind of a difficult nut to crack, if you're on multiple drugs and the lowest prices aren't found all at the same source. Who has the time to shuttle from store-to-store to score the lowest price (especially if you receive no co-pay difference for having saved your insurer money)

#4 I haven't found any of my doctors to be anything other than neutral on cost-concerns. Frankly, it's not my doctor's job to factor in price when prescribing to me. If price is a concern, he should be willing to work with me - and, when I've raised the concern, no doctor has been anything but happy to ensure that I am able to most-affordably acquire my medications (they'd rather you take something affordable than not fill scripts due to price problems)

#5 One of the medications I'm on is over $5,000/dose. My annual out of pocket maximums go up, year by year. The maker of the medication has an assistance program that, thus far, has made it so my annual out-of-pocket maximums are bridged.