Hand holding red and white piill

“April Crawford never thought she’d be begging for help on GoFundMe, but she has run out of options,” Gina Kolata and Francesca Paris write over at The New York Times. “She has multiple sclerosis, and Mavenclad, the drug that could slow her decline, has a list price of $194,000 a year. Her Medicare insurance will pay for most of it, but she has a co-pay of $10,000. Ms. Crawford, 47, doesn’t have $10,000 and has no way to get it. A law signed last year will put a $2,000 annual limit on out-of-pocket costs for Medicare patients like her — but not until 2025. Even at that price, money is tight in her household. She and her husband, who is disabled with COPD, live in Oliver Springs, Tenn. … So she posted an appeal on GoFundMe in August. At the time this article was published, she had raised $20. … Advances in science and immense investments by the federal government and drug companies have completely altered prospects for people with conditions that seemed untreatable in almost every area of medicine — cancers, allergies, skin diseases, genetic afflictions, neurological disorders, obesity. ‘This is the golden age of drug discovery,’ said Dr. Daniel Skovronsky, chief scientific and medical officer of Eli Lilly and Company. … Prices reflect the inherently costly and fundamentally different way drugs are developed and tested today. For many people using private insurance, innovative medicines are dangling just out of reach. Even when Medicare’s 2025 cap comes into play — or the $9,100 cap that already existed for those receiving insurance under the Affordable Care Act — many will still find drugs unaffordable. Research suggests large numbers of patients abandon their prescriptions when faced with $2,000 in payments.” Gina Kolata and Francesca Paris, “The medicine is a miracle, but only if you can afford it,” The New York Times.

Jeanne Pinder

Jeanne Pinder  is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded...