July 2012 Advice - Quality Prescription Drugs (Can't read this? click here)
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Ask the average American and they'll tell you: healthcare in the USA is far from perfect. But now, drug companies have a new business plan: target the critically ill.

In this issue, we'll be talking about how much it can cost to stay alive, and what some doctors are doing to push costs back down.

Do you have a story you'd like to tell? Contact us. [email protected]

In This Issue

The Most Expensive Healthcare Costs in America

Translucent blue specialty pills

You have a chronic health condition. Every day is a struggle, and most people just don’t understand what it’s like to live with what you have to.

Your doctor prescribes a ‘leading treatment’ for this condition and promises that it is the best solution for keeping your condition manageable.

You go to the pharmacist to pick up your prescription and are given the news: a month’s worth of this drug is going to cost you $800. And that’s just your out-of-pocket costs. Your health insurance plan has to pick up the rest, meaning that the drug is profoundly more expensive than your $800.

Millions of people in the United States need so-called “specialty drugs” to manage their health problems: cancer, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, asthma, and a growing number of other chronic conditions. And even though these drugs are often covered by health insurance, they are usually kept on a different co-payment tier.

Instead of the $4 you might pay for generics or the $20 for a name-brand prescription, you could be asked to pay a percentage of the medication’s price. With specialty drugs, those prices often climb into the thousands.

Why Are Specialty Drug Prices So High?

First, specialty drugs are often radically different when compared to other prescription medications.

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How Doctors are Fighting Back... Financially

person checking pill bottle

A cancer diagnosis is always frightening to receive. But for many, the enormous treatment costs that go along with fighting the dreaded disease can be just as bad.

In the past, oncologists, doctors who specialize in cancer treatment, didn’t worry about the price of those treatments. Today, that’s starting to change. More cancer doctors are starting to realize their patients are concerned about the costs.

Especially if their patients are US citizens without healthcare coverage.

And while that might seem strange and obvious, most physicians aren’t really aware of drug costs. In a 2007 study, physicians were asked to guess how much their patients pay for certain medications.

The results?

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