We hear a lot about health care and the free market. Some politicians tell us the free market is the cure all for all of our health care problems, but I'm here to tell you there is no free market when it comes to prescription drugs. Big PHARMA and the insurance companies dictate the market to line their pockets with their over priced products. It's a free market for them because they control the market. Sure we can shop around in their not so free market for prescription drug coverage plans and pick from many different plans, but the market is rigged and in the end the American consumer, especially the elderly, get screwed regardless of the prescription drug plan they choose.
Big PHARMA and the insurance companies love making the American consumer think they're getting a good deal. Hell when old folks get in the Medicare Part D doughnut hole "Big PHARMA", the insurance companies and the government tell us we get a 50% break on our Medicare Part D prescription. Wow this means instead of paying the full price for prescription drugs when us old folks get in the Medicare Part D doughnut hole, we only have to pay 50% of the prescription price. Now that's a good deal. Or is it? Well not really because when old folks are paying 50% of a Medicare Part D prescription they're actually paying, in some cases, 200% of what the real price should be. What kind of deal is that? I'll tell you what kind of deal it is. It's a bad deal.
If you've read this far I guess you're probably looking for some concrete examples. Well you've come to the right place.
Out of the abstract and into reality!
I am a 73 year old man and don't take many prescription drugs, but my wife of 54 years has to take several prescription drugs and she gets in the Medicare Part D doughnut hole every year. Several years ago she talked to our primary doctor about the cost of her prescriptions when she entered the Medicare Part D doughnut hole and our primary care doctor suggested she get her prescriptions filled in Canada while she was in the Medicare Part D doughnut hole. Our doctor even suggested a Canadian pharmacy (Canada Drugs) and gave her sheet of paper that included the website url. My wife brought it home to me and I checked it out. When I went to the site I couldn't believe what I was seeing. The difference in prescription drug prices was stunning and it was then that I felt I was being robbed by Big PHARMA, the insurance companies and the politicians and to this day that feeling hasn't changed!
My latest example of being robbed by Big PHARMA, the insurance companies and the politicians.
My wife is currently having a problem with her right foot. She was taking rehab for her foot until she came down with pneumonia and will resume the rehab when she's feeling better. Prior to coming down with pneumonia her doctor gave her a prescription (Arthrotec 50mg/200mcg) to help her with her foot pain. She has stomach problems and can't take most pain medications, but Arthrotec 50mg/200mcg helped her foot pain and didn't bother her stomach. When she refilled her Arthrotec 50mg/200mcg (30 tablets) she was in the Medicare Part D doughnut hole and our United Healthcare Medicare Part D plan paid a little over 50% for the Arthrotec 50mg/200mcg prescription. She filled the prescription at Walmart and according to the Walmart receipt (click here or see below) the cost for the Arthrotec 50mg/200mcg (30 tablets) prescription was $110.54 and her share was $49.81 ($1.66 per tablet). Now that sounds like a good deal, but it isn't. The fact is she can get the Arthrotec 50mg/200mcg prescription filled at Canada Drugs (60 tablets) twice as much for $45.50 ($0.76 or 76 cents per tablet) (click here or see below).
There's a big difference between a $1.66 per tablet and 76 cents per tablet and when our United Healthcare Medicare Part D plan tells us their $1.66 per tablet Arthrotec 50mg/200mcg is more than a 50% (fifty percent) discount from the real cost, I smell a rat. A greedy rat.
United Healthcare Medicare Part D cost for Arthrotec 50mg/200mcg (30 tablets $49.81) $1.66 per tablet.
Canada Drugs cost for Arthrotec 50mg/200mcg (60 tablets) $45.50 or 76 cents per tablet.
We've been writing about Medicare Part D and prescription drug plans for several years. Click here to view what we've posted about the thugs in suits!