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Re: The high cost of drugs!!

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While we face the issue of “FAKE NEWS” in the media, reading information on the FDA site has convinced me that we currently face a “FAKE SCIENCE” epidemic as well. 

 

Looking through approved prescription medications (many of which have active patent protection),  I notice that the litmus test for approval appears to be closely tied to the statistical significance in the clinical studies.  Some of the drugs approved for use (at hundreds of dollars per month) have an effectiveness of well under 50%.  Would you pay a mechanic several thousand dollars to fix your car if he (or she) gave you a 1 in 5  or  even a 50/50 chance that your issue would be fixed when you drove away?  Certainly, biological systems are complex and respond to many factors, but when drugs are approved by the FDA, we consumers REALLY NEED some kind of indication of how effective the drugs have actually been in their trials to make rational decisions about healthcare.  We are told about possible side effects,  why not about how effective the drug is?

 

Such indications are NOT provided by drug advertising.  I recently looked up a drug that was suggested by a medical professional and found that there was a 100% chance it would be painfully expensive, and a roughly equal chance that it would help or harm a family member (based on side effect rates).  Allowing the drug companies to openly advertise drugs like this without disclosing the truth is insane.  For some maladies,  lack of effective treatments can cause us to reach out for any hope,  but when a drug is only marginally better than a placebo or a witch-doctor, allowing it to be marketed without some “effectiveness indicator” ill-serves the consumer and our medical insurance system and unfairly enriches the drug companies at our expense.  This "example" drug cost over $400 a month for its questionable utility.

 

Medical “Science” needs to return to the idea that a physically plausible hypothesis should precede testing, that statistical correlation does NOT necessarily equal cause and effect, and that medicine is not so complicated that patients should be insulated from any knowledge of whether a proposed treatment is even likely to be effective.  There are so many drugs that even pharmacists have trouble staying up to date much less physicians and the MDs are so protective of their authority that many refuse to admit they may not be informed on a specific course of treatment.

 

There also appears to be an unhealthy attitude at FDA toward the drug companies.  As an example, when the Montreal Protocol (To protect our ozone layer against release of CFC’s) literally forced the drug companies to change propellants in inhalers,  the FDA granted them new patents.  The patents were BASED on what innovation pray tell?  The drug companies were forced to abandon the prior chemical by government action and substitutes had already been developed at public cost.  The same drugs then went from about $15 a month to over $150 with no change in formulation except that forced by the same government that mandated the change.  How does this kind of “policing” by the FDA “SERVE” the public?

 

We can no longer afford to look the other way.  Allowing drug companies to charge whatever “the market will bear” makes NO sense when the government is a significant market participant and approves the drugs in the first place.   Finding factors of 20 difference in price between drugs on the European and US markets suggests to me that this is out of control and legislation is required to fix the runaway condition.   Drugs are a major element in the medical cost structure. 

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Re: The high cost of drugs!!

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See my recent post re the Donut Hole.  Pfizer is a great company and if any of your drugs are made by Pfizer you can get them for free if you meet the income guidlines ($47,000 annual for a single person and $95,000 for a family.

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Re: The high cost of drugs!!

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SEE MY POST FROM TODAY 3-17-16 RE STAYING OUT OF THE DONUT HOLE.   IF ANY OF YOUR DRUGS ARE FROM PFIZER THERE IS A GOOD CHANCE YOU WILL GET THEM FOR FREE.

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Re: The high cost of drugs!!

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@realray wrote:

I get a little frosted when I hear about Capitalism being the problem!

Capitalism properly applied uses competition to establish costs!

The health programs we have here in the US today are bloated Socialism applied by inefficient government with no accountability and paid for by the taxpayers with hard work under Capitalism!!

The graft, cronieism , gouging, lobbying and legal oppportunities compound the mess and inflate its cost to its astronomical levels today.

Want to see how it can really work best, CNN had a new show this week had its interviewer spend 2 days in a magnificent Bangkock, Thailand hospital with incredible physicians, nursing, medical services, and treatments and the cost controls and expense was amazing!

This how health care in America should work, and guess what drives this wonderful hospital and treatment in Thailand, good ol profit and Capitalism! no government involvement at all !

Just a few of my two cents!

 


The key phrase you use is "capitalism properly applied uses competition to establish costs". The problem with that is that many drugs have no generic equivalent to provide the competition, or they are a drug only needed by such a small market that they are not worth making a generic version. This leaves the people who need such drugs at the mercy of unethical sharks like Martin Shkreli who swoop in and make a killing because it is the only source of a drug.

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Re: Medicare and Big Pharma

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@inkwell99 wrote:
Interesting points.

You mentioned that no one negotiates with Medicare.

Any opinion as to why Medicare was not given the authority to negotiate best pricing for many of these insanely priced meds?

Thanks.

You have to remember that Medicare merely sets the rules for Part D plans.. such as .. where the Donut Hole begins/ends, How high the Deductible can be, what percentage you pay DURING the donut hole.  They don't negotiate drug costs, because they do not offer Prescription drug plans.. the Insurance companies do.  However, Insurance companies DO have to negotiate with Pharmacies/distributers (Walgreens, CVS, Target, Mail Order etc) on pricing.  

 

If you want the latest meds out there, well chances are, they have not been out long, and are still hustling to make as much as they can on their medication before they have to compete against a generic version.  

 

Now, insurance companies don't like that either, because it's possible that you're paying $95 for a medication that the insurance company has to pay $2000/month for. The Bad news.. Medicare's rule regarding the Donut Hole looks at the COST of medications, not just what you pay.  So, that medication that is $2000/month is factored into when you hit the Donut hole.  For 2016.. the donut hole starts at $3310!  Once you are in the Donut hole.. you will pay 45% (per Medicare) of that drug's "COST" (for Name brand medications).  Remember, this is not your insurance company's rule.. it is Medicare's.

 

It's the most challenging piece when helping people make a good healthcare decision.  I strongly recommend that you review your Medication list with an agent/broker or simply go onto Medicare.gov, and see for yourself each open enrollment! Why?  The plans and rules seem to change each year.

 

It's not a great answer.. but I hope it helps make things clearer.

 

Lance

 

 

Twitter: @LHIS_Lance

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Re: The high cost of drugs!!

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how do i find information on how to order ligit drugs from Canada and is it legal? Any help would be great!
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Re: The high cost of drugs!!

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Hello

This will be my first reply to any of this information The Drug companys and the Health care providers have to be a non profit not in it for the money but the care of the people over 55 its like auto insurance in it for the $$$$$$$$ not the safety issue at all!!!!! I have no ins right now inbetween the age of 64 and 65 not going to be in the mess untill OCtober this year ha ha fun time starts but for right now I have one script that was going to cost 1.000 a month for 60 pills who can afford that with all the other meds you have to take?? this is caught up between a rock and a hard place for sure The Doctors and the Health care Providers and the Insurance and the Drug companys need to get it right and stop over charging for scripts and bleeding the country dry!!!! Pay your medical bills? eat? or maybe pay your utilities for the month or better yer the Rent or house payment?????????? what a choice we have It makes you wonder what to do where can you get the best deals on coverage and where to start with all the Red Tape!!!!! call this number call that number fill this out fill that out stand in line fall over get up start over!!!!!!!!!!

Well now that americans over the age of 50 are hooked on script drugs and you have adjusted to them now you have to have them thats what i was told by my Doctor on my last visit he said to find a way to pay for the drugs untill I could get on Medicare!!!! in 5 months from now!!! out of pocket that would be about 5000 more or less just depends on where you can get the scripts filled at everyone has a price to pay i guess everywhere you check on script prices its different some more some a little less I have seen it from 250.00 to 1000.00 just for one script!!! how is this possible to have such a wide range for the same drug!!!!! only in America  Well im looking around now have been for the last several months since the ins ran out you work for all those years and pay just like the employer out of your pay check and you still pay aboove and over the money they have already collected from the ins and your pay check and you still get another bill for the 20% they wont cover????????? its time to re-set the standards on this across the board but its like congress the house and the senate i guess no one ever can agree to anything  I give you out present goverment system!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! who ya gonna call Price Busters!!!!!!!! anyone out there have any idea on what can be done to improve the system!!!!!

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Re: The high cost of drugs!!

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Message 8 of 55

I get a little frosted when I hear about Capitalism being the problem!

Capitalism properly applied uses competition to establish costs!

The health programs we have here in the US today are bloated Socialism applied by inefficient government with no accountability and paid for by the taxpayers with hard work under Capitalism!!

The graft, cronieism , gouging, lobbying and legal oppportunities compound the mess and inflate its cost to its astronomical levels today.

Want to see how it can really work best, CNN had a new show this week had its interviewer spend 2 days in a magnificent Bangkock, Thailand hospital with incredible physicians, nursing, medical services, and treatments and the cost controls and expense was amazing!

This how health care in America should work, and guess what drives this wonderful hospital and treatment in Thailand, good ol profit and Capitalism! no government involvement at all !

Just a few of my two cents!

 

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Re: The high cost of drugs!!

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Message 9 of 55

Travelled one, There's more to it than capitalism,  I think. Some of it is the accounting practises and certainly lack of monopoly control. I'd like to see a real investigation of what the real costs are. Of course there will be variables for different regions etc. , but the government spends on so many "studies" that have very limited application or value compared to a real study of the costs of health care.

karl

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Re: The high cost of drugs!!

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Message 10 of 55

@krlklar wrote:

 

It would seem a worthwhile study to establish the actual costs for things in health care because our prices here are higher than anywhere else in the world!

Karl


Hi Karl,

 

Even though I am not part of your healthcare system, they certainly are higher than anywhere else in the world.

 

I once read a report that the US healthcare system is the most expensive in the world and ranked down the list in order of best. It was nowhere near the top of the list. Its all about the money. Thats capitalsim for you!

 

I can give you an example of actual healthcare costs as a foreigner who was hit by a car in Austria. The operation, my 13-day stay in the hospital and all medications ran me 6240 Euros. That is about $7250. Do you think I could get that in the US for that money? I highly doubt it.

 

The hospital was modern and spotlessly clean. The food was great, but no beer. LOL

 

It took me many months to be able to walk again.

 

There are no money digging lawsuits there. The other driver's insurance paid for my material losses and expenses and although it was the other driver's fault 100%, there are no crazy lawsuits there. I got some pain money that isn't even worth talking about.

Alex
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