US Healthcare is now a crisis

  • The high cost of healthcare in the United States is a significant source of apprehension and fear for millions of Americans, according to a new national survey by West Health and Gallup.
  • Relative to the quality of the care they receive, Americans overwhelmingly agree they pay too much, and receive too little, and few have confidence that elected officials can solve the problem.
  • When given the choice between a freeze in healthcare costs for the next five years or a 10% increase in household income, 61% of Americans report that their preference is a freeze in costs.
  • Cancer drugs in the U.S. routinely cost $10,000 a month.
  • More than half of Americans in one poll said that bringing down drug prices should be a top priority of the federal government.
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American’s blame everyone but themselves for high healthcare costs

  • Most Americans are focused on what they’re being charged for health care, not how much they or an aging population are consuming, according to a new POLITICO/Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health poll.
  • Respondents blamed drug companies, insurers, providers and even the federal government for surging costs while dismissing overuse as a central issue.
  • 54 percent of respondents believe that high health costs are a serious problem. Asked about the reasons, nearly 80 percent said the prices charged by drugmakers were a major factor, while 75 percent held insurance companies responsible and 74 percent held hospitals responsible.
  • Our high cost of care and modest health outcomes will remain stubbornly fixed unless our behavior changes.
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The craziness of pharma drug pricing

  • Lilly says the net price for its Humalog insulin—the price after discounts and rebates—fell to an average of $135 a patient a month in 2018, from $147 in 2014. During the same period, the product’s average list price rose 51.9% to $594 per patient monthly.
  • Lilly hasn’t raised the U.S. list price for Humalog since May 2017. U.S. sales of the drug rose 4% to $1.79 billion in 2018, which Lilly said was primarily driven by demand.
  • Dug middlemen continue to take a huge chunk of prescription drug profits.
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Healthcare: No incentive to change

Time to change concept
  • “We have a $3.4 trillion industry, which is as much as the federal government raises every year, that basically feels pretty good about the system” according to Warren Buffett.
  • Health spending rose 3.9 percent in 2017 and now makes up nearly 18 percent of American economic output.
  • As long as there is money to be made in healthcare prices are going to keep going up.
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PBMs told investors i​t would find “an alternate funding /pri​cin​g structure” to offset lost rebate dollars.

IN SUMMARY: PBMs are keeping a smaller share of rebates and passing more along to their clients. Instead, PBMs are collecting more revenue through various fees — the same shift the Trump administration envisions — and through a practice called “spread pricing,” according to a Pew analysis.

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AARP to launch drug pricing ad campaign

IN SUMMARY: Nearly three-quarters of Americans over 50 worry about being able to afford prescription drugs for themselves and their families, according to a new AARP nationwide survey. AARP’s campaign will include television ads, a strong social and digital media presence, and grassroots efforts via mail, email, and phone by AARP’s 38 million members, in order to convince lawmakers to act on drug pricing.   

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