• 21 NOV 17
    “Excuse me, what is the cost of Forteo?”

    “Excuse me, what is the cost of Forteo?”

    I overheard a discussion at the pharmacy last week.  An individual was dropping off a new prescription for Forteo, a drug used to build bone density.  The pharmacy tech looked it up and reported back – “the co-pay is $1200.”

    I could not help but overhear the conversation:

    “Are you kidding me!” said the customer.

    “That is for a 28 day supply” said the pharmacy tech.

    Customer: This is a medication I need to take every day for 2 years, to build back bone loss due to a doctor’s advice to stay on a low dose of prednisone. The prednisone has depleted my bone density to the point where I have 2 compression fractures in my back. There is no way I can afford to pay $1200.00 every month.

    Tech: Well, I can understand. That is why the drug company, Lilly, offers a program called LillyCares, to help people with the cost.

    Customer: Why is it so expensive? Do you think people in Congress that do not have to use Obamacare pay this much? I guarantee you they do not. I guarantee you they do not pay a cent. If only they had to use the same health insurance as the rest of us, maybe they would actually do something to fix these type of problems.

    Tech: Here is the information you will need to contact LillyCares.

    Customer: I already know about this program. It is no different from so many others.  LillyCares will only provide financial support to individuals that fall below the poverty level.  I do not. I am another victim of the middle class. The forgotten class.

    Tech: This is not unlike pricing inconsistencies with other medications. Some people pay at one level while others pay at a completely different level. I do not believe drug pricing is based on market forces, rather, pricing is influenced by politics.

    Customer: We all pay inflated rates to empower drug companies to advertise in nearly every form of media. All of this is just infuriating. Unfortunately, I have no choice and need to get this prescription filled. I will be back tomorrow to pick it up.  Thank you for permitting me to vent.”

    Tech: Not a problem, that is why we are here, have a nice rest of your day.

    The fact is, this example illustrates how a drug company distributes medication at different pricing levels funded in part by the inflated costs paid by consumers to reimburse their advertising – all the while using lobbyists to influence regulations and laws lining the pockets of politicians – politicians that do not rely on the same health delivery system as the general population.

    (by: Jonathan Morse)

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