Health Insurance Companies Press Pharma on Drug Prices

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SovaldiHealth insurance companies are now holding the “feet” of the drug companies to the fire, by refusing to cover their drugs unless they slow the rise in drug prices especially the prices of Specialty Drugs

Spending on specialty drugs rose 14.1% in 2013 and according to Express Scripts was not due to new drugs or patients but from price increases.

The issue on price became evident with the release of Sovaldi by Gilead with a price tag of $84,000 for 12 weeks of therapy. Competitors Abbvie and Merck are coming out with Hep C drugs very soon, which will offer competition and may possibly drive the price of the drugs down.

We can only hope, because when the price of the drugs are so high that Insurance companies refuse to cover them then the ultimate outcome is that the patient suffers.

Specialty drugs aside, the unnecessary rise in generic drug pricing by manufacturers borders on “criminal”. How is it that only a short time ago a bottle of 500 Doxycycline Hycalate 100mg tablets cost around $100 or less and today that exact bottle costs over $1300 with an AWP of $3073…. something is very wrong people.

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When a patient comes into the pharmacy from a free clinic with a prescription for 10 tabs of doxycycline that you would have charged anywhere from $4 to $10 dollars previously and now that same prescription would cost over $200…. something is VERY WRONG!!

As pharmacists we MUST stand up and fight against the conspiracy of drug pricing and lobbying if we are to ensure the health of our citizens. This cant be done without us the pharmacists so we need to make sure that it is made quite clear that the pricing changes need to come from the DRUG COMPANIES and not diminish pharmacy reimbursements further…The proverbial “THEY” keep looking in the wrong place….Pharmacy reimbursements should NOT keep decreasing, Drug prices should!