Insurers Balk at High Cost of Specialty Drug

May 21, 2014

  • May 21, 2014 at 2:21 pm
    Huh! says:
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    At $1000 per pill, medicine is definitely the highest cost of medical care. While the drug is obviously potent and effective, I doubt very much that it has been priced appropriately.

    • May 21, 2014 at 3:57 pm
      Agent says:
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      The FDA makes testing and development so expensive, no wonder the drugs are high in cost. I still wonder how Canada can make drugs so much less expensive. Also, there are a lot of generics out there that are good and far less expensive.

      • May 22, 2014 at 2:11 pm
        Nan says:
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        Agent,
        Other countries don’t allow corporations to extort from their citizens. Only in America does big business have more political clout than citizens. We Americans have to pay for pharmaceutical R&D but other countries get the low cost results.
        After WWII our “Marshall Plan” required Europeans to be provided with health insurance…but not Americans.
        McDonalds and all other USA companies have to provide health insurance for full time and part time workers but not in America. McDonalds pays $21 per hour in Denmark and they still provide health insurance, but not in America.
        A family member went through the Hep C treatment 3 times before it was successful… very expensive then but now there are no future medical bills. It did not cost $80,000.

  • May 21, 2014 at 5:22 pm
    New Bob says:
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    Although I fully support the concept of drug companies making a profit I somehow doubt that if you did the full analysis of this drug development/manufacturing and product insurance cost that the result with a reasonable profit would be anywhere near $1000 per pill.

    Wish the drug companies would think about the impact of their pricing so as to keep the short sighted folks in Washington out of the pricing business. One possible solution that seems reasonable to me is to amortize the development costs over 5 years add that to the manufacturing cost and then allow for a profit on top and make all of this tranparent to the consumer. We in the insurance industry are not allowed for excessive profit so why should the drug companies?

  • May 21, 2014 at 6:31 pm
    Baxtor says:
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    “The insurance model makes medicine seem like the most expensive part of the healthcare system,” Castellani said FROM ONE OF HIS MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR ESTATES.
    Duh Mr Castellani, it seems like it because it is. You don’t see doctor’s advertising on commercials for you to contact your pharmacy to see if they have a drug on stock, and then schedule an appointment with your doctor for them to prescribe. No, what you see is a drug company advertising for the consumer to go to the doctor and ask for a certain drug. Sometimes I don’t even know what the drug is for. I think there should be caps on drugs. The only time I could possibly see a higher cap is if someone develops a complete cure for Cancer, Aids, and other life threatening diseases, heck even cold and flu. But a drug that shortens the treatment? Yes, that’s an advancement, but nobody can afford it. I think the insurance companies should not allow it. Then when they can’t sell their $1,000 a pill advancement, maybe they’ll get the wake up call. Crooks are what they are. Or, this just came to me. Are they aware of some side affect that kills 10% of the patients? If so, then the high price is to pay for the lawsuits when it’s found out and yet they’ll still be able to make a profit.

    • May 22, 2014 at 5:21 pm
      Agent says:
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      The drug ads are on most networks 24/7 for every known illness. They give a brief description of the possible benefits and then spend 2/3rds of the remaining time listing all the side effects. I looked at my wife and said, why would I take this drug with 20 or more side effects? Hello! They are worse than the disease.

  • May 22, 2014 at 11:25 am
    ExciteBiker says:
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    Thank good honest politicians like Billy Tauzin who shoved legislation written by the pharmaceutical industry down our throats before leaving office to take the top job at PhRMA for more than ten million dollars a year. I’m sure he was just worried about that grandmother he loved so very much…

  • May 22, 2014 at 12:02 pm
    Stush says:
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    The pharmaceutical industry is going to get what it deserves from doing things like this. Not only will they have to answer to the FDA for doing the testing and research but then they will be subject for additional scrutiny and regulation for PRICING! yes, the capitalist model is to allow for free markets as incentive to develop new drugs and treatments; but they will then have to balance their obligation to support the Hypocratic oath, “first do no harm” with not bankrupting folks in treatment as a result. And it is about time we looked into the insurance model which suggests that folks can pass along the costs to insurance carriers just because they have the money, and let everyone else share in the costs? Some model! while it sometimes benefits the patient, the model benefits the drug companies and plaintiffs attorneys mostly, all of whom get rich off of the human misery they are supposed to be relieving! Drug companies should have to submit financial support an show how much the proposed cost is due to R & D, marketing, and profit, just like we do when we file to adopt new rates. Let’s see how transparent they are then. They could easily make money at one tenth of the current price. How long does the patent last, seven years? Advil is still money maker, even though hundreds of companies are selling Ibuprofen as a generic. No one is losing money on that; even at a lower price, I doubt if anyone at Gilead will be seen in the welfare line any time soon.

  • May 22, 2014 at 4:38 pm
    Poster Boy says:
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    I went thru Hep C treatment in 1998 with injections and pills over a 6 month period. That treatment cost in excess of $40,000 and didn’t work. I’d give anything to be able to take this treatment given in cures 90% of people with only 1 pill a day for 12 weeks, but I’m sure my insurance won’t pay it. So I guess I’m stuck with hepatitis until the price comes down.



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