Let’s pretend drug prices in ads matter

  • Employee’s are once again getting hit with more of the costs of their coverage in the form of higher premiums and higher deductibles.
  • Health care premiums continue to take up more of employees’ paychecks.
  • Just over a quarter of all covered employees are enrolled in policies with a deductible of at least $2,000, up from 22 percent last year and 15 percent five years ago.
  • Worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975, according to the World Health Organization. In 2016, more than 600 million adults were obese — or about 13 percent of the world’s population leading to a jump in cancer cases and other costly health conditions.

Drug prices in ads are going to do nothing to stem the cost of health care in the US.  The only thing they may do is prevent patients from filling their Rx’s due to costs.   In the meantime, any raises that employees are getting are getting eaten up by the rising costs of health insurance and deductibles.  Welcome to the politics of diversion.

The media has continued to ignore the fact that prescription drug pricing accounts for only 11% of every healthcare dollar spent.  Hospital costs, a lot of which are not covered by insurance, continue to increase at an alarming rate.  However, the biggest threat to our healthcare continues to be a public that ignoring good health guidelines and a medical establishment that doesn’t bother to say anything to patients who are dangerously obese.

Today we have “world obesity day” but without serious intervention it means little.  American’s don’t get enough exercise or eat right and when we have to pay the consequences we complain about prescription drug prices.  “What we have here is failure to communicate”.

Who is responsible?

1ne: First and foremost, each one of us is personally responsible for our own health.

2wo: Digital health apps and devices are not going to save us from ourselves.

3hree: EHR data should trigger interventions to help patients understand the dangers of obesity and not exercising including text messages.

4our: Employers have to do more, a lot more, than pay for employee health plans.  They need to think about prevention as a way to lower costs.

5ive: Insurers need to experiment ways to help customers better manage their health with a heavy focus on prevention.

Until we, as a nation, are willing to talk about the REAL issues driving healthcare cost drug prices in ads isn’t going to do a damn thing to curb rising healthcare costs.