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Author Topic: Medication prices, slight of hand  (Read 1872 times)

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Offline Claybraker

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Re: Medication prices, slight of hand
« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2018, 11:56:35 AM »

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.
Life expectancy at birth
US, 78.6
New Zealand 81.7

Healthcare spending as a percentage of GDP
US, 14%
New Zealand 7.1%
We spend twice as much, and live on average 3 years less.

Offline woodmills1

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Re: Medication prices, slight of hand
« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2018, 07:06:20 AM »
I am old enough to have joined medicare even though my years as a teacher have let me be on a good medical plan 80% payed by my retirement agreement.  I joined medicare when I did because if I didn't It would have made my social security more difficult and would have increased my medicare contribution If I waited longer.  I also lost half of the amount I qualify for with social security because of my municipal retirement agreement, the so called windfall elimination act.  None of this bothers me, my total out of pocket for health insurance has actually gone down since medicare has become the first payer.

What does bother me is twofold.  First, the difference between the price charged by the heath care provider and the amount actually paid by medicare/other providers.  I see the greatest difference in these two in the consumables I use daily to test my blood sugar levels.  The billed price is in the hundreds and the paid price is less than 10 dollars.  No wonder there is an underground market for testing supplies.  Second, the amount of paperwork is stunning.  I had blue cross blue shield for years in an HMO style plan using a primary care physician.  Excellent health care provided by the Lahey Clinic in Burlington MA.  As long as my primary care doctor said OK the procedure was covered, my copay was 10 bucks and I got no paperwork.  My town of retirement joined the Mass  GIC plan in an attempt to control prices and BC/BS was not an option.  Harvard Pilgrim became my primary provider, but due to my residence in New Hampshire there was no option for HMO so my cost and the towns cost for me actually went up and I started to get paperwork from Harvard and the GIC.   When I hit 65 I joined medicare and now get paperwork from them also.  Every communication from them includes 2 pages of possible languages I could get my paperwork in.  Harvard sold the drug portion of their insurance to caremark for medicare patients and express scripts for non, so now I get paperwork from CVS?silverlight caremark for me and express scripts for Kathy.  I plan on burning paperwork for heat for a few days this winter.
James Mills,Lovely wife,collect old tools,vacuuming fool,36 bdft/hr,oak paper cutter,ebonic yooper rapper nauga seller, Blue Ox? its not fast, 2 cat family, LT70,edger, 375 bd ft/hr, we like Bob,free heat,no oil 12 years,big splitter, baked stuffed lobster, still cuttin the logs dere IAM

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