Patients want to know how much will come out of “their pocket” when it comes to drug prices

  • List price could prohibit some patients from filling their Rx’s.
  • Insurance and pharma companies could have taken a preventive step to head off list prices in drug ads.
  • PhRMA’s credibility is zero when it comes to patients.

The list prices of drug prices are the same as list prices on cars; nobody pays the list price.     Yet our incompetent government seems to think it will better help patients make treatment decisions. WRONG!

In all the years I have been involved in research patients wanted to know “how much this drug will cost me” as in “coming out of my pocket”.  Drug companies and insurers could have been proactive in this area, but they probably saw it as too much work.  Now the drug industry is crying foul and threatens to sue over requiring drug prices in ads.

It would have been very easy for the insurance companies to work with the pharma industry to include links back to insurance sites that would have informed customers what their out-of-pocket would have been for a certain medication.  Their failure to see the future is going to lead to a lot of changes within the marketing landscape.

Pharma has been spewing its propaganda, but does anyone really trust a pharma industry spokesperson?  From what I have seen the answer to that is zero.

If a patient learns that the list price of a drug is $1000 what are they likely to do?  Ask for another product?  Not fill their Rx?  But what would happen if they found out their co-pay was $60 or lower?  Those questions are pretty easy to ponder, but they still don’t explain the hidden middlemen in the value chain.

The drug pricing debate is going to continue to be a hot topic.  This at a time when a top financial publications aid “healthcare stocks are on fire”.  Pharma companies are making record profits and have used the tax cuts to either buy back stocks or improve their balance sheets for Wall Street. Virtually no pharma company has taken any of that money to help patients pay for expensive medications or reward good employees who work hard in the patient’s interests.

The sad thing is that pharma CEO’s still make tens of millions of dollars in compensation and that Wall Street is still their primary customer.  Until that changes no legislation is going to help patients enough.

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