December 8, 2013

GIVE PATIENTS A PROFIT MOTIVE:

An effective eye drug is available for $50. But many doctors choose a $2,000 alternative. (Peter Whoriskey and Dan Keating, December 7, 2013, Washington Post)

The two drugs have been declared equivalently miraculous. Tested side by side in six major trials, both prevent blindness in a common old-age affliction. Biologically, they are cousins. They're even made by the same company.

But one holds a clear price advantage.

Avastin costs about $50 per injection.

Lucentis costs about $2,000 per injection.

Doctors choose the more expensive drug more than half a million times every year, a choice that costs the Medicare program, the largest single customer, an extra $1 billion or more annually.

Spending that much may make little sense for a country burdened by ever-rising health bills, but as is often the case in American health care, there is a certain economic logic: Doctors and drugmakers profit when more-costly treatments are adopted.

I don't care which my insurance company pays for.  I do care how much I have to transfer from my HSA.
Posted by at December 8, 2013 7:27 AM
  
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