by Catherine Frompovich, Activist Post:
The healthcare – or shall I call it “sickness care” – industries in the United States and, perhaps globally, apparently operate under several misleading practices of being there to help consumers get well.
Although that sounds altruistic, nothing probably is further from factual and monetary truths, according to many concerned individuals who recognize what amounts to “rip-offs” and are calling it out for what it is.
In view of the exorbitantly annual increases in healthcare insurance premiums and prescription drug plans, consumers and regulatory agencies must step back to reassess “what the hell is going on” with price increases that prevent those folks who take prescription drugs from either cutting back on them or not being able to afford them in the first place.
One of the prime areas of apparent deceitful healthcare practices to investigate is found in prescription pharmaceuticals where ‘mammoth monetizing’ goes on at various levels along the distribution/sales channels. One of the identified ‘culprits’ is “Pharmacy Benefit Managers” (PBMs),which basically amounts to what some call “abusive middlemen.”
This video is a short explanation of PBMs.
Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs): Abusive Middlemen
The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics “Therapeutic Drug Use” website lists statistics for the period 2011 to 2014. According to their data, 3.7 billion Rx drugs were ordered or provided with the most-frequently prescribed drugs being: Analgesics, Antihyperlipidemic agents [cholesterol lowering drugs?] and Antidepressants. Those Rx listings apparently will have to change when the stats are updated for 2015 to 2018 when opioids ought to be included as one of the top three. That drug probably was monetized further after the PBMs’ cuts by physicians who ‘bartered’ for those scripts.
If you are taking Rx drugs, the information in this reporting ought to be of vital concern to you, especially if you feel you cannot afford to pay for your prescriptions. The apparent emerging reasons ought to make you angry enough to contact your members of Congress to do something about that, especially senior citizens on Medicare and who use Medicare Part D.
PBMs make drugs more expensive
“How ‘price-cutting’ middlemen are making crucial drugs vastly more expensive”
“Complaints about PBMs driving up drug prices have become increasingly common.”
One of the examples given in the above Los Angeles Times article is what happened to the pricing for the EpiPen in which most of “the list price went to middlemen, including PBMs.”
According to a distribution chart in the above article, here’s the route how the EpiPen was monetized until the consumer bought and paid for it: Mylan, the manufacturer >> insurers >> wholesalers >> pharmacy retailers >> patients. All those from Mylan to patients were “middlemen,” each making a profit from ‘handling’ the product!