Why prescription prices stay high: Pharma recycles old medications

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Why prescription prices stay high: Pharma recycles old medications

Oatent extensions let drug makers keep prices high and prevent competition, as described in a recent study from the University of California at Hastings College of the Law tracks. “Rather than creating new medicines, pharmaceutical companies are recycling and repurposing old ones,” write the authors, Robin Feldman and Connie Wang. “Every year, at least 74% […]

18% of cancer patients can’t afford medication, study finds

Filed Under: Costs

18% of cancer patients can’t afford medication, study finds

Summary: “Financial pressures kept cancer patients from filling prescription medications and attending their doctors’ visits, University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers found in a new study,” according to a press release from the center. “More than one-in-four cancer patients surveyed reported they had to pay more for medical care than they could […]

Prescription drug prices: The system, in all its glory.

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Prescription drug prices: The system, in all its glory.

Summary: Rob Lamberts, a family physician, wrote this useful piece over at his blog, “Musings of a Distractible Mind.” The money quote: “This incident is just one example of the terrible gaming that routinely occurs with the prices of drugs. There are plenty of others. Why, for example, do brand name medications continue having such […]

Tips for shopping for prescription drugs: Consumer Reports

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Tips for shopping for  prescription drugs: Consumer Reports

Summary: We’ve written a lot on prescription drug pricing; here’s our prescriptions page. Consumer Reports took up the topic recently: “Millions of Americans have been hit with high drug costs within the last year. In fact, a recent Consumer Reports National Research Center poll of 1,037 adults showed that a third of those who currently […]

Buying prescription drugs from Canada: One woman’s story

Buying prescription drugs from Canada: One woman’s story

  Summary: Buying medications by mail from Canada? You’re not alone. A friend from California explained how she started out on this path, and why she thinks this will save a lot of money — although, strictly speaking, the Food and Drug Administration considers the practice illegal, and has reportedly intercepted some shipments of medications […]

Insurance plans place all medications for some conditions in high-price tier

Filed Under: Costs

Insurance plans place all medications for some conditions in high-price tier

Summary: Extending insurance coverage to all, even those with serious or pre-existing conditions, was one of the promises of the Affordable Care Act. And yet conditions including high coinsurance and high co-pays have put treatment out of reach for insured people. Here’s a new analysis from Avalere Health saying that some insurance plans “place all […]

How managed care prescription pricing has worked to raise costs

Filed Under: Health plans, Patients

How managed care prescription pricing has worked to raise costs

Summary: “The Center for Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) at the University of Michigan reports that until 2002, most people with employer-sponsored insurance that included prescription drug coverage were in plans with one or two formulary tiers. As of last year, nearly 25% of insured people were in plans with four or five tiers, and the […]

How to shop smart for medications: A simple binder method

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

How to shop smart for medications: A simple binder method

This post about how to buy medications thoughtfully as a smart consumer appeared on one of my online groups. I thought it was so wise that I asked the author if I could post it here, and she agreed. The writer is Moyra Phillips, Huntsville, Ala., who identifies herself as “a wife, mother, grandmother.” The […]

Guest post: How to apply for help in paying for expensive drugs

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Guest post: How to apply for help in paying for expensive drugs

Samuel Rulon-Miller manages the blog the NeedyMeds Voice, part of NeedyMeds.org, a Massachusetts nonprofit with resources for people seeking help with the cost of medicine. Launched in January of 2013, the NeedyMeds Voice focuses on presenting readers with timely, provocative pieces on healthcare reform, patient advocacy, medication and healthcare access, and other health-related news. This […]

Buying meds online: Resources for checking pharmacy credentials

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Buying meds online: Resources for checking pharmacy credentials

Residents of Maine are going to be able to buy medications online from Canadian pharmacies again, after a period in which such sales were illegal. Maine residents are celebrating; Canadian drug prices are much lower than American ones. This weekend’s terrific piece by Libby Rosenthal in The New York Times about the high prices of […]