Healthcare prices are like posh restaurants whose menus are given to the “bill payer” with no
prices. If you don’t have significant cash or credit card limits, chances are you might be shocked
or embarrassed by the bill!
In most cases no patient has any idea what anything costs. Nor do they know what value a visit has
or does not have. All you know is you went to the doctor and got a slip of paper to take to a
pharmacy, and usually one to take to the lab and/or another referring you to a specialist.
Both the government and insurers spent billions to provide Electronic Health Records. However,
these records do not include the cost of the visit, tests, prescriptions, referrals or co-pays.
And pharmacists have no idea what a prescription costs either until they “fill” the prescriptions,
nor do they know where the drug was made or the quality of the ingredients.
Occasionally, more frequently lately, politicians remind us that our prices are the highest in the
world. The FDA knows this and also know they only inspected 1,000 the 3,000 FDA registered foreign
manufacturing facilities which do not use FDA’s cGMP [current good manufacturing practices] or “in
process” quality control inspections. Americans pay the highest prices only to support lower drug
costs everywhere else in the World; while the VA, Federal Supply System, Pharmacy Benefit Managers
and Medicaid receive 50% rebates, passing higher costs onto others in higher prices!
Medicare is the only segment which does not negotiate drug prices. Prices are rising quickly,
trapping 50 million in the decade old “Donut Hole.” At the same time, the poor get the very same
expensive biological products free! There are 12 million citizens over 65 who are poor, and receive
Medicaid too. Only in America do you have to be poor to afford drugs.
The United States is only capitalist nation on earth, yet pays the highest prices. This can only be
explained by the fact that the drug industry gives large contributions to political candidates and
officials. It is safe to say they own Washington, DC. But if you look, it is less expensive to
travel abroad to buy drugs and let the savings pay for the trip and a vacation at the same time;
cutting insurers “grip” on healthcare. In every other country, they have something unique, that no
longer exists in American pharmacies – price lists!