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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    Default Multiple Sclerosis Patients Stressed Out By Soaring Drug Costs

    Multiple Sclerosis Patients Stressed Out By Soaring Drug Costs


    Drug companies are acting much like a cartel such as OPEC, says Stephen Schondelmeyer, a pharmaceutical economist at the University of Minnesota. He says the companies must figure "if we all keep moving up and nobody moves down, we can get away with raising the price, because if a person has multiple sclerosis, what other choice do they have?"


    http://www.npr.org/sections/health-s...ing-drug-costs
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack. -- Gen. George S. Patton

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  3. #2
    Baluchitherium Ted Van Halen's Avatar
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    I can identify with this. One of the pills I take is $200 per pill. I take it every day. Do the math. And that's just one of 4 meds I'm on. Granted the others aren't anywhere near that cost but they aren't cheap either. Thankfully I have great ins that has a $5K out of pocket max that I peg pretty much in January. Wife and I don't have huge income so I'd certainly like to spend that 5 large on something besides pills. And yeah I use an hsa and all that good stuff but in the back of my head is the constant wonder of "what if I get laid off".
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  4. #3
    Atomic Punk
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    12.04.17 @ 04:15 PM
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    It really is awful...Even an organisation with the buying power of our NHS can barely manage to get Big Pharma. companies to shift on prices...As a result, millions of pounds of people's charitable donations get ploughed into medical research year after year - but when new drugs / therapies are discovered, we can't access them as NICE (the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) - a government body responsible for recommending medicines to the NHS - considers them too expensive. A patient may be able to access them privately, but only those with pockets deeper than the length of their trousers can possibly hope to fund them in the long-term.
    I'm FEMALE...Deal with it!

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  5. #4
    Atomic Punk edwardv's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 12:15 PM
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    I bought wholesale pharmaceutics 35 years for a large veterinary operation I managed. These companies are truly evil in their financial operations. The name brand companies being the worse but they all raise prices yearly in some cases twice a year no matter how much they make even in a good year. When fuel prices spike etc but they never come down if things get better. Most of the manufactured product comes from plants outside the USA. The entry level outside sales reps do ok but the telephone sales reps are not much above minimum wage. If you do well and find your way into middle management you will also be the first to go in a downturn. There are no pension plans anymore just 401k. IMO we are headed at light speed to a point where the vast majority of folks will not be able to afford health care. The affordable care act is a complete joke even if you are getting a subsidy on your premium. No one has the money for the high deductables and out of pocket.
    Last edited by edwardv; 06.01.15 at 07:04 AM.
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    This is one thing that actually pisses me off. My father in law has ms. He's had it for over 20 years. I see what he goes through every day. Especially with doctors and drug companies. He's on ssi and the farm his insurance out to companies until he can get on Medicare. He takes this shit called ticybrn or however it's spelled and it is extremely expensive. Hate to say this but it seems to me that the drug companies and doctors don't know what to do about ms patients. Because the only thing I've seen that works is a daily regimine of painkillers.

  7. #6
    Atomic Punk
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    12.04.17 @ 04:15 PM
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    Just on the news today - new immunological medicines are being used with miraculous effects on skin cancer / melanoma. The successful regimen utilises two drugs: just one of them will cost 100,000 per patient. What's the betting it will never be part of mainstream treatment?

    Similarly - and, as a woman, something that really pisses me off - NICE has just turned down a drug that targets (and massively reduces) ovarian cancer. At a cost of 4000 per month, it's not seen as enough of a benefit to justify the cost to the NHS. It angers me because, in fact, ovarian and testicular cancer are of the same 'type' - but the survival rate for testicular cancer is over 90%, compared to about 40% for ovarian cancer. And the reason is purely that men with symptoms are immediately taken seriously and referred to specialists, whereas women with symptoms are told to basically grin and bear it ("it's just bad periods - part of being a woman, dear"). This is despite the fact that there are simple blood tests that can detect the possible presence of ovarian cancer.

    Certainly in the UK, when it comes to these new cancer drugs, the financial burden to the NHS would be dramatically lower if we could just persuade doctors to take us seriously and act upon what they're being told by the patient. It's a similar state of affairs with cervical cancer. Doctors are actually refusing to carry out simple smear (pap?) tests on females under the age of 25, irrespective of symptoms - and young women are dying as a consequence. The simple fact is that with cancer, the success of its treatment lies with early detection - a lot of these newer drugs are used when patients' disease has reached a severe stage, so the cost would be considerably lower if doctors were not just better trained in spotting signs, but were actually prepared to HEED their patients. Empathy and communication skills are, in my experience, sorely lacking.
    Last edited by dibblekins; 06.01.15 at 09:12 AM.
    I'm FEMALE...Deal with it!

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  8. #7
    Atomic Punk bsbll4's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 12:23 PM
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    It seems the trouble with drug companies that make a profit is that drug companies make a profit. Of course they use that money to develop new drugs, invest in producing the drugs at a larger scale, etc. Unfortunately the market is the best driver for drug innovation, but it's also the most callous when it comes to new treatments.

    No one complains when new technology, like a TV or a laptop, costs an exorbitant amount when it first debuts. Everyone realizes that the market is small and it takes the company some time to develop the economies of scale to make a consistent profit at a lower price.

    However, when that "TV or laptop" turns into "life saving drug" the understanding from the consumer goes out the window.

    The obvious solutions to the problem, ironically, present their own unwanted side-effects:

    1) Reduce barriers to entry for new companies to manufacture drugs by eliminating or reducing patents.

    Intended Result: More companies offering the same drug drives the price lower.

    Unintended Consequence: Companies invest less in research because it's no longer as profitable to develop a new drug.

    2) Nationalize the drug companies

    Intended Result: Much like a utility, take the profiteering out of the equation to get the services for the lowest price.

    Unintended Consequences: Research lags, supply chains are strained by increased demand due to lower cost, bureaucracy leads to long wait times and poor product, etc.

    3) Cap profits and/or restrict shareholder dividends

    Intended Result: keep companies and shareholders from getting rich by gouging cancer patients.

    Unintended Consequence: fewer investors which hurts innovation. Less motivation to innovate since companies will have to do it for others' benefit, not their own monetary gain.



    I'm not sure what the solution to this problem is. If we are already complaining about the cost of healthcare and insurance, we certainly can't obligate drug companies to gift these drugs at a lower cost than market simply because "it's the right thing to do" unless we plan on paying out the ass, either in taxes for subsidies or higher premiums/deductibles for insurance as they absorb it in other areas. The flip side is to only provide treatments that are cost effective according to the government or the insurance company, but then you have the same problem we have now.

    If everyone paying half their income (or more)so everyone has access to life saving treatments even if they'll never use it is what everyone wanted, I'm sure an insurer would happily pool everyone together to make that happen. The problem is people aren't willing to do that because the risk of being diagnosed with a life threatening condition with an expensive cure is small. So where does that leave us?

    All of the government and market pressure on drug companies has already slowed production and innovation, so we're already seeing the effects of this all-for-one, one-for-all mentality that really just leaves all behind.
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