prescription drug prices

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Courtesy of Dr. Marty Makary

The United States spends more than $3 trillion on health care every year. That comes out to about double the spending per person than other wealthy nations—yet with worse health outcomes in comparison.


Déjà Voodoo: Pharma’s Promises To Curb Drug Prices Have Been Heard Before

Jul 25, 2018
Photo licensed under CC0. https://pixabay.com/en/pills-dispenser-pills-medicine-966334/

Prescription drug prices were soaring. Angry policymakers swore they’d take action. Pharma giant Merck responded by promising to address the problem voluntarily, vowing to keep price increases under the overall rate of inflation.

“We believe these moderate increases are a responsible approach, which will help to contain costs,” the Merck CEO said at the annual shareholders meeting.

That assurance wasn’t made last week, when multiple drug companies offered similar pledges amid similar criticism. It was nearly three decades ago, in 1990.

Costs Of Widely Prescribed Drugs Jumped 5,241 Percent In Recent Years

Nov 29, 2016
Coburn Dukehart/Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

Jess Franz-Christensen did not realize the seriousness of her son’s Type 1 diabetes diagnosis until staff in the doctor’s office offered to call an ambulance to take him to the hospital.

Her next shock: The cost of Jack’s medicines.

The Mercenary Markets of U.S. Health Care

Aug 24, 2016
kiwinky/via Flickr

I never thought that I’d consider buying drugs from Canada. For years I’ve heard rumors about people getting medications from over the border, and now I find myself considering it. You see, we spent $2800 of our health plan’s $3500 deductible on EpiPens this Spring. And since those EpiPens are only good for about a year, we’ll spend another $2800 (or more) next Spring. And then again the Spring after that. And so on.

Connecticut's Low-Income Diabetics Paying High Price For Insulin

Apr 13, 2016

The high cost of insulin, which has risen by triple-digit percentages in the last five years, is endangering the lives of many diabetics who can’t afford the price tag, say Connecticut physicians who treat diabetics.

Patients Miss Out On Savings When Doctors Fail To Talk About Costs

Apr 4, 2016

Talking about money is never easy. But when doctors are reluctant to talk about medical costs, patients' health can be undermined.

A study published Monday in the journal Health Affairs explores the opportunities that are often missed in the exam room.

It's not just patients who are getting tired of ever rising drug prices. Doctors are joining the chorus of frustration.

The latest voice? The American College of Physicians, whose membership includes 143,000 internal medicine doctors. It published a position paper Monday calling for the government and industry to take steps to rein in spiraling costs.

Medicare is going to test new ways to reimburse doctors for medications, in hopes they'll choose less expensive drugs.

The plan would alter Medicare Part B, which pays for medicines administered in doctors offices or outpatient hospital clinics — to eliminate incentives for doctors to use the most expensive drugs.

Bad Packaging Means $3 Billion In Drugs Will Be Wasted This Year

Mar 1, 2016
GettyImages-56293183.jpg
D Gorenstein

Patients, insurance companies and the federal government are on track to spend about $3 billion this year on cancer drugs that will be thrown away, according to a report on pharmaceutical company profits in BMJ – formerly known as the British Medical Journal – that was released Tuesday.

At the same time, drug makers, hospitals and doctors are profiting from the way these drugs are packaged, researchers found.

At his office at Memorial Sloan Kettering in Manhattan – a leading cancer center – Dr. Leonard Saltz shows off a drug.

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