In a recent article in Yahoo Finance, ‘As President Biden eyes drug pricing, expert laments ‘failure of democracy‘. The article states that 25% of Americans can’t afford their prescriptions and one-third have skipped a prescription due to cost. Though a huge majority of Americans want the government to fix the drug cost problem, neither Democrats nor Republican administrations have been successful in stopping the rise.
Dr. John Abramson, a professor at Harvard Medical School, and author is quoted, “The pharmaceutical industry is very bipartisan in the way it doles out lobbying money and campaign contributions,” Abramson said. “More than 80% of Americans want drug prices to be controlled. And the same number think that the drug companies are more interested in profits than they are in helping people. So the fact that legislation cannot get passed is a demonstration of the failure of our democracy to play the people’s will, to play a countervailing role against industry, which is in control here.”
Drugs that cost a few dollars to make end up costing patients and health plans hundreds of dollars a month. The rise is unsustainable and yet, every January and July prices go up as much as 10%. Drug prices outpace the rate of inflation and social security increases.
The Donut Hole
Medicare part D is helpful to many retired Americans, but drug cost increases are bumping into the coverage gap more quickly. The coverage gap also called the donut hole, is when the patient and their drug plan have spent a certain amount, in 2022 it’s a total of $4,430 on covered drugs.
Patients are trying desperate measures to treat their health issues like switching to over-the-counter drugs or cutting pills in half. Neither solution is recommended and can lead to an emergency room visit.
The private sector, namely health tech companies like RazorMetrics, is stepping up with innovative solutions to take advantage of lower-cost drugs that are available but not being prescribed. RazorMetrics’ platform analyzes a host of pertinent data – formulary, preferred drug lists, discount cards, pharmacy pricing, and much more to help medical adherence and improve health outcomes.