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Author Topic: Medication prices, slight of hand  (Read 1854 times)

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Offline bedway

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Medication prices, slight of hand
« on: July 20, 2018, 08:57:00 AM »
This is a bit of a rant and food for thought at the same time. My wife had a eye exam the other day and the doctor prescribed her some medication. The office called it into Walmart and we headed over to pick it up. Nice lady at the counter brings over this container not much bigger than a eye dropper. She says its $107.00 dollars. Wife says oh my goodness, for that little thing. The nice lady leans over and whispers, if you go to so and so internet sight you might be able to find a discount coupon. We walk out to the car still in shock from the price. Wife pulls out her electronic/computer/phone device and starts poking buttons. Within seconds she claims the device says we can get the Meds. for $31.00. Wife heads back into Walmart as I stand there shaking my head. Several minutes later she comes out with the Meds. with this strange look on her face. She says I told the lady about the price we found and another lady behind the counter speaks up. This lady goes to some sight and finds another coupon. Wife shows me the receipt for $8.00. This total situation just boggles my mind. Short of my listing all the reasons this really bothered me, please share your thoughts on this.

Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Medication prices, slight of hand
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2018, 10:58:36 AM »
This does not surprise me one bit.  This is why I don't shop at Walmart much anymore.  Walmart pioneered the shrinking package.  They are so big that they forced manufactures to package products they way they wanted.  It was the first place I saw Oreo cookie packages shrink from 16oz down to the now 12oz while keeping the same price - a few cents lower then the competition.  Walmart takes advantage of those that don't look beyond the price.  Unfortunately, many retailers have followed their lead.  Seems you can't buy a "1/2 gallon" of ice cream anymore.  Now they are 1.75 quarts.  And the seemingly "gallon" of cranberry juice is now 3 liters.
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Offline Runningalucas

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Re: Medication prices, slight of hand
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2018, 11:30:04 AM »
My reply will be harsh.  I've lived extensively out of the US, and found that medicine is almost always cheaper, faster, and the same stuff you'd get stateside.  In the states, some how, we've been hood winked into letting litigation get out of hand; it does have it's place, but like the lady who sued McDonald's, and won over hot coffee; sometimes the Darwin awards just fit, and shouldn't be rewarded.

On that note, I'll go real caveman, and when looking back in history, in the days of dueling, most of the 'iconic' statesman's views were shaped in those times; many partook.  I've come to think, that if we had dueling back, court sanctioned, I don't think a lot of this paper bureaucracy, that drives the litigation, and the fleecing, would continue as it does today. 

Litigation, and greed seem to be the current driving forces in our society; there are just more important things, or other forms of wealth, like family, friends, honor, kindness, et el.  Somewhere along the way as a society we've lost sight of that, and I don't think it can end well.

Offline sawguy21

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Re: Medication prices, slight of hand
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2018, 12:21:00 PM »
I am reminded of Martin Shkreli of Turig Pharmaceuticals who bought the rights to an AIDS treatment and promptly jacked the price 5000%. When the fur hit the fan he had absolutely no remorse and said he would do it again.
The price of prescription drugs has gone through the roof. Sure some are very expensive to produce, others are produced in low quantities but the gouging is inexcusable. Durng my wife's illness we were on a drug insurance plan with a deductible, the costs showing were staggering. We could not possibly pay the whole shot.
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Offline Gary_C

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Re: Medication prices, slight of hand
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2018, 12:23:25 PM »
Litigation has little to do with drug pricing. If you had said product development costs and drug company stock prices you would have a better argument. Oh, and then there are insurance companies.  :)
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Offline bwstout

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Re: Medication prices, slight of hand
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2018, 12:35:07 PM »
My wife has CLL and Dr. are putting here on new meds he said the price would be between $8,000.00 to $10,000.00 per month she has been approved for 2 years worth. We are still waiting to see how much we will have to pay and the insurance will pay.
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Offline TKehl

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Re: Medication prices, slight of hand
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2018, 01:21:59 PM »
There are instances where the cash price for a drug is cheaper than the co-pay with insurance, but in some cases the pharmacist is leagally bound not to inform unless asked...

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/05/29/614556060/to-lower-your-medicare-drug-costs-ask-your-pharmacist-for-the-cash-price
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Offline Don P

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Re: Medication prices, slight of hand
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2018, 06:31:44 PM »
im just back home from shoulder surgery, still kinda in da fog. happily the rotators are thin but ok, they had showed up as missing spots on the mri. the old repairs are holding. the bicep tendon was badly frayed, he had to cut,shorten and pin it back to the shoulder. the oxy is covered but opiates turn me to a brick fast, movantik,  is the industrial strength go to for this but is 155 at our little pharmacy, didn't try wallyworld, I didn't fill either. I filled the Percocet which causes the same issue but slower. where did you find coupons ???.

Offline lxskllr

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Re: Medication prices, slight of hand
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2018, 06:40:47 PM »
Litigation has little to do with drug pricing. If you had said product development costs and drug company stock prices you would have a better argument. Oh, and then there are insurance companies.  :)

Insurance is scam too. I want the insurance rates for paying cash. If they'll take 10 on the dollar from insurance, they should take that from me paying in greenbacks. They don't even have to send it to billing. We'd be done when I walked out. Of course, it's harder to cook the bills that way. Delay, confuse, and obfuscate, and who's gonna say the bill's wrong?

Offline reswire

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Re: Medication prices, slight of hand
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2018, 10:10:36 PM »
A Richmond TV station just did a report on the cost of medicines.  Their research revealed that medicare almost always pays for the "Brand Name" at max cost, while the savvy shopper, the one who pays his/her own co-pay will nearly always purchase the generic at 10%-35% of the cost.  God help us, if Government health care comes to pass.  You won't be able to afford the tax hikes that will be needed to fuel the whole thing.  I'm going to buy all the Big Pharma stock I can afford, if another Democrat takes office in 2020.... 
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Offline Runningalucas

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Re: Medication prices, slight of hand
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2018, 11:13:02 PM »
Litigation has little to do with drug pricing. If you had said product development costs and drug company stock prices you would have a better argument. Oh, and then there are insurance companies.  :)
I wish that were true, but many to most drug manufacturers figure in litigation costs into their 'medication'....  Ever notice that most drug commercials are almost nothing to do with the product, but all the complications, and side effects?  I can't recall the name now, but a good friend's brother in law was neck deep in marketing a wonder drug back in the 90's.  The drug was dangerous, and they knew it, but figured the litigation costs compared to profits, and presto, 'great drug'.
Apart from that, I agree the insurance companies are crooked.  My wife had an insurance company for a few years.  I loved reading the non-stop daily corporate emails, or even their revolving door corporate folks who would come in every few weeks, and teach how to spin conversations with clients.  Their 'hooks' into the individual agent, was privacy concerns, and a few others; basically, you were mandated by corporate policy to say what they said you could say, or else not only would they cut you loose on the liability, but then take action to 'regain their fair status', or however it was said. 
Basically, insurance companies are ran like a giant Las Vegas, where you're simply selling a product, one that only exists on paper, and to get people to sell it, the actual agents/owners, it was backed up with huge commissions...  Often times, the commissions were 50% to 75% of the original premium. 
I always had a problem with that, I'm supposed to be honest, a licensed agent, yet a huge chunk of premiums, especially in life insurance just go straight to the agent.

Offline low_48

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Re: Medication prices, slight of hand
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2018, 12:14:23 AM »
I'm over 65, so on Medicare. I had to buy a supplemental prescription insurance policy. Shopped around, asking many companies if they pay for a natural thyroid medicine I take. None of them would pay for it. Watched the advertisement on tv for GoodRX. Walgreens takes it, and saves me $60 on a 90 day supply. That coupon has a code on it, which I assume is some kind of group plan number that GoodRX has negotiated pricing on. By the way, took the synthetic thyroid supplement for a couple of years that did nothing for me. Doc switched me to this med which was the old way of getting the supplement. They dry pig thyroid glands, grind them up, and then press into a pill form. It is a miracle drug for me! Again, some old ways are best!

Offline DDW_OR

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Re: Medication prices, slight of hand
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2018, 12:40:01 AM »
yep, goodrx will show the prices online and all the stores near the Zip-code
wally-world was $67 and Costco was $27
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Offline bwstout

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Re: Medication prices, slight of hand
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2018, 07:33:07 AM »
My wife has CLL and Dr. are putting here on new meds he said the price would be between $8,000.00 to $10,000.00 per month she has been approved for 2 years worth. We are still waiting to see how much we will have to pay and the insurance will pay.
We were called yesterday and because it is an experimental drug they are going to monitor my wife and the drugs are only going to cost me $5.00 :) out of pocket she is number 104 in the experiment they and 80% positive results with minim side effects.
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Offline goose63

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Re: Medication prices, slight of hand
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2018, 10:24:38 AM »
The way thy rip a guy off I'm sure glade I get mine from the V A
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saw logs all day what do you get lots of lumber and a day older
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Offline Gary_C

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Re: Medication prices, slight of hand
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2018, 11:02:13 AM »
A Richmond TV station just did a report on the cost of medicines.  Their research revealed that medicare almost always pays for the "Brand Name" at max cost, while the savvy shopper, the one who pays his/her own co-pay will nearly always purchase the generic at 10%-35% of the cost.  God help us, if Government health care comes to pass.  
That is completely untrue. 
First Medicare does not pay for drugs, you have to buy a Part D supplement thru an approved insurance plan and even though the reimbursement by Medicare to the insurance company may be overly generous for the plan, no insurance company in it's right mind would pay for the "Brand Name" at max cost. It's always generics if available.
The myth that government healthcare would be bad is just a myth. In fact studies have shown that a single payer healthcare system like Medicare would be an overall cost saving for healthcare. Medicare has enormous power over the healthcare costs and you would not believe the deep discounts that Medicare demands and gets from all healthcare providers. The providers don't like it but have learned to accept the Medicare reimbursement rates because Medicare controls the rates for every one over 65 in this country.
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Offline Southside logger

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Re: Medication prices, slight of hand
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2018, 03:18:13 PM »
But one must consider that with forcing providers to accept lower rates less innovation and reduced interest in becoming a provider becomes an issue. There is a reason folks come to the US for medical treatment and people spend 12 years and what $750K to enter into some medical fields. 
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Medication prices, slight of hand
« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2018, 05:46:09 PM »
The myth that government healthcare would be bad is just a myth. In fact studies have shown that a single payer healthcare system like Medicare would be an overall cost saving for healthcare


Misinformation likely spread by the drug and insurance companies? 

They don't like the NZ drug distribution system, which is handled by a Govt Agency. They are responsible for approving and bulk buying pretty much all the drugs used by hospitals and pharmacies. Supply of common drugs are put out for tender to get a competitive price. Drug companies have to make a profit of course, but we don't like being gouged on price. Expensive / new drugs have to be purchased at higher rates of course, but the price is negotiated, with the tenders for the normal drugs as a bargaining chip. 

But there is a lot less opportunity to jack the prices up.

Some drugs are expensive to develop and manufacture, so they understandably cost a lot. 
Drs have to be trained and skilled, so they need to paid accordingly as well.
Hospitals are expensive to build and run. 

But it's better to have more of the health budget actually being spent on those things, than being siphoned off into insurance company and lawyers profits. 

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Offline Gary_C

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Re: Medication prices, slight of hand
« Reply #18 on: July 21, 2018, 08:44:00 PM »
Misinformation likely spread by the drug and insurance companies? 

It's the drug and insurance companies thru the best senators and representatives their money can buy that is the problem. 

Some years ago there were stories where the VA was praised for having the lowest cost for drugs anywhere. The VA achieved that notoriety by negotiating with the drug companies for lower rates. When it became public knowledge, the drug companies cried foul and since then the two major government agency's, Medicare and the VA have been prohibited by the US Congress from negotiating lower drug prices.

So you could conclude that government run healthcare programs are bad but it is not because they are not capable of good things. You could also conclude that Congress is at fault and there you would have a better argument. Right now the US Congress is more concerned with running Foreign Policy which is one of the President's duties. They do not have time nor the ability to do their own legislative duties.  :(
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Offline clearcut

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Re: Medication prices, slight of hand
« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2018, 09:41:12 PM »
Quote
Martin Shkrelis former pharmaceutical company lost more than $1 million in the first quarter of 2018 amid waning sales of the drug made famous by Shkrelis more than 5,000-percent price increase. 
https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/07/shkrelis-former-company-is-now-losing-money-even-with-the-5000-price-hike/

It looks like the market has reacted in this case. 

Also Shkreli is in prison on securities fraud. 


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