It amazes me there is not more outrage over the cost of prescription medications. Not all prescription meds – primarily just the ones that advertise on the nightly news shows.
Often there is no outrage because the person getting the prescription is only paying a co-pay. And though co-pays have gone up, they don’t approach the actual cost of the drugs, so people become unwitting participants in what I would call price gouging.
As examples: Linzess. While there are many constipation medications available over the counter for $2 to $25, a person following the advice of the TV commercial to “ask your doctor about Linzess” will likely get the prescription without ever realizing the cost of that drug is $250 a month.
For Celebrex, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, a person bypassing prescription-strength ibuprofen (another NSAID) costing less than $10 a month will get Celebrex for $450 a month. It is sold for $125 in Canada. Making that harder to swallow, according to the American College of Rheumatology, is that “no one NSAID is better or safer overall than any other NSAID.”
The drug Humira has several uses and is understandably a major advertiser. Its cost is $2,800 a month, and that info should ease the pain of your co-pay.
In looking at these prices, you can take one consolation: They pale in comparison to the cost of Sovaldi, a drug used to treat hepatitis C. Solvaldi will cure hepatitis, for $1,000 – a day.
Unfortunately, we are all paying for this. If you pay your health insurance premium, it is built into that premium. If your employer pays for your coverage, then the employer is paying that much more to do so, and that leaves less money to go around in the form of wage increases and additional benefits. Either way, that’s a shame.