The health care world has been abuzz all week talking about the increased price for prescription drug, Daraprim. Many have challenged Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli’s decision to jack up the price of Daraprim from $13.50 per pill to $750, but what this controversial decision has done is bring to life a much bigger issue… The lack of price transparency in the world of healthcare and prescription drugs.
(Read More: How Comparing Health Costs Can Save You Money)
Price transparency: From provider and patient perspectives
Price transparency in health care gets a lot of push back from insurance companies and healthcare providers alike but patients are left shanghaied, wondering why they can’t just find clear pricing. The physicians and insurance provider camp argues that medical costs aren’t all cut and dry because there are variables like additional necessary testing and medications. The patient camp argues that there are many procedures and medications that are simplistic, like an MRI or a regular prescription such as birth control. In these instances, patients have started to demand access to MRI costs so they can actually find an affordable MRI. Those same consumer-driven patients have also voiced their desire to see prices for affordable drugs online.
So, what is Daraprim?
Daraprim (Pyrimethamine) is a prescription drug used to prevent malaria and treat parasitic infections like toxoplasmosis which can commonly affect those with HIV/AIDS or cancer.
Why does Daraprim pricing affect me?
The pricing confusion surrounding Daraprim, while problematic, has started the necessary conversation about making pharmaceutical drugs more affordable and making the costs clear. In a Huffington Post article, Anna Almendrala writes that only 2,000 Americans use the drug each year, but infectious disease expert, Dr. Carlos del Rio from Emory School of Medicine and Rollins School of Public Health commented saying that Daraprim is the best drug available to treat toxoplasmosis. Almendrala continues to say, that while 22.5% of Americans over the age of 12 are affected by toxoplasmosis, they do not often opt for Daraprim for whatever reason, now it will be due to cost.
What if I have insurance?
Maybe you can spring for Daraprim without being affected by these shrouded and steep costs? Unfortunately, even patients with insurance will see added consumer costs and ultimately, as Americans we will still end up paying for the price increase in our taxes.
How can I find prices in my area?
Soon, Save On Medical will have the ability to compare prescription prices online. This should be finished soon, so don’t forget to check www.saveonmedical.com.