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Patients Having Problems Being Able to Afford Prescriptions As Costs Continue to Rise–Insurance Plans Add to the Money Iss

Posted Oct 11 2010 10:35pm

We all just about live for those $4.00 generic prescriptions today and unfortunately image they are not available for all medications and treatments.  One drug store mentioned in this article from the Wall Street Journal says they have over 100 prescriptions a week that they fill and are not picked up.  This problem just keeps growing and it’s not getting any better. One pharmacy benefit manager, Express Scripts, said today they were going to use analytics and some algorithmic formulas to predict ahead of time which patients will not be getting their medication scripts filled.  It’s a good plan of action if everyone had money but….

“Give the middle class some algorithms that create money on this end and then we might see progress as all you might find here is perhaps a percentage of how many can’t afford their drugs”. 

The mathematical formulas can only go so far and the ones who used all those algorithms for years to cut out profits from money going from point A to point B are the ones with the dough.  Some doctors are to the point of prescribing a drug that the patient can afford versus one they might feel would not be filled, ie. a time released drug versus one that is taken more frequently but costs less.  In September of 2009 I wrote the opinion piece below, so this has building for a very long time without anyone in Congress adequately understanding how technology is not only shifting how healthcare is practiced but also changing the entire face of our entire economy – you need general consumer digital literacy to even begin to comprehend. 

Also one more opinion piece from 2009, and the world of distraction and inability to focus is getting worse with those living in the 70s. 

Is Distraction Getting in the Way of HealthCare Reform?

This is part of the high frequency healthcare we are all living and breathing today that consumers did not create.  BD 

Growing numbers of Americans with health insurance are walking away from their prescriptions at the pharmacy counter, the latest indication that efforts to contain costs may be curbing health-care consumption.

A review of insurance-claims data shows that so-called abandonment—when a patient refuses to purchase or pick up a prescription that was filled and packaged by a pharmacist—was up 55% in the second quarter of this year, compared with four years earlier.

The trend is driven in part by higher out-of-pocket costs for covered medicines, pharmacists and Wolters Kluwer officials say. The average co-pays for brand-name drugs such as cholesterol fighter Lipitor rose to $28 a prescription this year, an 87% jump from 2000, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Some co-pays can be as high as $100.

Many are for drugs crucial to people's health, such as antibiotics like Levaquin, and Nexium for bleeding ulcers, but customers balk when told their share of the price, Mr. Tucker said.

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