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Drug Prices Skyrocketing!!!

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by wizard950, Aug 28, 2016.

  1. wizard950

    wizard950 High-Roller

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    Recently in the news we read about that young skunk who raised a drug price 5,000%. More recently we heard about the EpePen going from $100 to $600. Well I have a new one for you guys and it just happened to me.

    Being a diabetic I take Metformin ER 1000mg twice a day. It is or was a generic depending on your point of view. Up until my July refill it cost me $10 for 90 day supply, July cost me $30 and I couldn't figure out why. Now I know. I just got my statement from Medicare for my July medications. The price of the Metformin ER went from $10 to $2,105.17 for a 90 day supply. Fortunately the insurance company picked up $2,075.17 of the total cost. But I am now in the donut hole which means that the next time I would have to pay most of the cost out of pocket. All prices quoted here were at the Walmart Pharmacy.

    Now this is how messed up our health care system is! If get the doctor to rewrite my prescription to 2 500mg tablets twice a day of the same medicine. It reverts back to a straight generic and costs a total of $10 for a 90 day supply. Guess who is going to get a new prescription from the doctor tomorrow?

    How many of you have had nasty surprises with your medications?
     
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  2. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    I have. I was taking Advair for my asthma. Copay went from $30 to $150 a month. My insurance moved Advair from tier one to tier three and passed the cost increase along to me. I went online and printed out the asthma drugs in tier one and faxed it to my Dr. to pick one for me that would save me money per month. Changed drugs.

    I'm not following your math, though. Don't think Metformin ER went from $10 a month to $2105. $10 a month is way too low for the actual price of drug before insurance.
     
  3. wizard950

    wizard950 High-Roller

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    The $10 was for 90 day supply at Walmart with their generic pricing program prior to the price increase, the $2,105 was also for a 90 day supply..
     

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  4. merlin

    merlin VIP Whale

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    I work for a drug company and I can confirm it is ridiculous, they charge as much as they possibly can with no regard for actual production costs, etc. A few years back the ceo said in a meeting that for one of our drugs, we were the only manufacturer, and that we could charge $5 a tablet if we wanted to, but "would never do it of course", well, we're now charging $10 - $20 a tablet and people are bragging about how successful we are.
     
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  5. Oxygenator

    Oxygenator Low-Roller

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    I just got my metformin refilled here in Ontario. The total price for 240 Tablets was $28.53. That's the cash price at the largest drug chain here. If were you, take a trip across the border and stock up.
     
  6. vwhiten

    vwhiten High-Roller

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    Last year my insurance premiums increased and my copays increased dramatically. I take 2 prescriptions and they are both relatively cheap. If my doctor tried to prescribe a $100 drug I am going to provide him the list of the $4 drugs. I'm in the middle of appealing a claim with my insurance company. If we go to the ER for a non-emergent visit the difference in what they pay out is astronomical. I had a stomach bug and self treated at home for 6 days+. The last day 100+ episodes in 24 hours and started having stomach pains. My visit was coded non-emergent and I lost my first appeal. This appeals process has been going on for over 3 months. The kicker -/ I'm a nurse and this visit was at the hospital I work for. You think that would help-- absolutely not. I've now gone to our "Customer Experience" person in the hospital. It is the "squeaky wheel" theory and I am not giving up.
     
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  7. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    My first reply to this felt too political and I don't want to have to give myself a warning. :wink2: Let me try again.

    I noticed my Metformin co-pay went up too. Not as much, as I typically do a 30 day supply from Walgreens. It went from $10/month to around $15/month. I've managed to get off a few other drugs as part of my program to improve my health. The advair was getting crazy and one of the blood pressure pills went up a lot too. I'm glad those are off the list now.

    My parents have been using an online Canadian pharmacy, but I'm not sure exactly which they are using. Dad's got a lot of really expensive heart medications and they found it worth the added shipping time it takes for the money savings as much of that comes out of pocket. It's not always a savings as you have to compare the co-pay to the full price in Canada, but sometimes it's enough of a savings to make it worth it, especially if you're in the donut hole.
     
  8. vwhiten

    vwhiten High-Roller

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    Lol Sonia. I had to watch my reply. I hope this does not sound political-- I think we are all going to have to be mindful of keeping costs down. There is only so much to go around. I'm just glad my prescriptions are cheap.

    I would encourage anyone to ask their Doctor for the least expensive treatment.
    Your Doctor won't always prescribe you the least expensive drug. Levaquin is very expensive and a widely used antibiotic. Ciproflaxin is almost the same-- same family of drugs and so much cheaper-- but doctors rarely prescribe it. Levaquin is around a $100 and Cipro is $4-8 generic.

    Tamiflu given to lessen flu symptoms is also over $100. My doctor gave me an RX for that. I think with my insurance it was $30-- I didn't get it filled. The cost and the side effects I just rode it out.
     
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  9. wizard950

    wizard950 High-Roller

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    I just got back from talking to Jill, my pharmacist at Walmart. She confirmed that the 1000mg ER version of the Metformin is indeed $2,100 because of a new formulation. She confirmed the price of the 500mg version of the same drug would be $24 not the $10 I previously suggested. Other than the obvious cost savings I would have to take 4 tablets a day instead of 2.
     
  10. Tahoejoe2

    Tahoejoe2 High-Roller

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    You can mail order to Canada. At least I was able to do it 8 years ago? A lot cheaper for the same drugs
     
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  11. hotreds

    hotreds VIP Whale

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    I am getting a 90 day supply of Invokana from Canada for what a 30 day supply would cost here: $800. Even tho my endocrinologist was not supportive, I told her that the money difference was too dramatic to bow to her dislikes.
     
    Will give them a try!
  12. SH0CK

    SH0CK Stylin' and Profilin' Quasi Tech Admin

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    Ouch. My company insurance covers my Invokana 300mg for 30 days and I'm just left with a $25 copay. This was after I had to jump through a few hoops to get it approved, since it was so new when I first started taking it. I signed up on the manufacturers website and they cover that copay too.
     
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  13. justdeb

    justdeb Low-Roller

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    my insulin went up from a co pay of 30 dollars for a 3 month supply to 380 copay for the same amt.(and that is just one of the insulins i take) to top things off my doctors office was not allowed to give out the insulin samples anymore.
    that's how i got my insulin for a while. i pitched such a fit that a rep from my docs office told me that we would qualify for free insulin from the Eli Lilly company. for a year too.

    i told my doctor that i was NOT going to pay that amount.(i would have, but it's the principle) These companies are just ridiculous anymore.
     
  14. Bubbavegas

    Bubbavegas VIP Whale

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    Some big truth right there, my wife is Type 1 diabetic and has been for 35 years, recently we had to do a trip to the ER when her insulin pump failed, just to get a new scrip which we didn't have to do previously, the cost of her insulin out of pocket is $300/BOTTLE.
     
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  15. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    Plus with all of the mergers and consolidation going on there is less competition and with flat sales, the one way to raise profits is to increase prices.

    Regarding the EpiPen, there is $1 worth of the drug, the other $599 is packaging, distribution, marketing, profit. From what I've read, there are other companies who make a similar product, but the ease of use and it's package makes this the best of the bunch.

    The CEO of every drug company is reviewing its products and where they have a competitive advantage to increase prices they will do so.
     
  16. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

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    I don't take any meds--since my bride says that M&M's don't count as "Awesomeness Pills" anymore.

    Seriously, though...My bride takes quite a few things that are on the pricey side. Thank goodness there are some generic equivalents for most of them. Her doctor of 16 years just suddenly quit seeing patients to go on the administration side of things and we're having a hard time finding a doctor that will take my wife as a new patient, especially with her particular health history. She's running low on a few things and we need doctor's orders to get her refills.

    RICHARD
     
  17. queuetee

    queuetee High-Roller

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    Interesting that her doctor didn't "sell" his practice, but worse that he didn't make arrangements to transfer his patients to another doctor.
     
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  18. Bubbavegas

    Bubbavegas VIP Whale

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    For those on the Epipen I myself carry an epinephrine pen for honeybee allergies, as a dog trainer, gardener and general outdoors person you can see why LOL. when the first price increase came I switched though with my MDs help. I bought a bottle of Epi, less than $10, syringe and carry those in a small case, you lose the convenience of the Epipen but a dosage is easy to draw and the savings are as you see huge.
     
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  19. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    Guess I'm lucky, my medical plan also includes a drug plan so with Metformin ER I only pay $15 copay for a 3 month supply. I hope it will be the same when I retire in a few years.

    BTW, I heard that the epipen patent is expiring (or has expired already) so they will be starting to make a generic version. Guess the manufacturer wants to make as much as they can before the generics hit the market so they jacked up the prices. One generic version didn't meet with FDA approval but I'm sure in the next few months there will be generic versions of the epipen.
     
  20. joespoolhall

    joespoolhall Low-Roller

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    Be careful about mail order Canadian pharmacies. If you're dealing with a brick and mortar entity, fine. Otherwise you may or may not receive what you need. I purchased generic Advair for about six months years ago when I had a gap in coverage. Fortunately it seemed to be the same as Advair to me. I have subsequently seen and read news stories on the reliability of these mail order pharmacies. Most of the drugs originate in the middle east and India. Sometimes they are fine, but other times the dosage is inaccurate or actually misses a key component, which could be potentially dangerous. Tread lightly.

    Good Luck!
    Ric at Joes
     
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