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High Drug Prices Are A Major Challenge For Patients And Providers

posted by Alicia Caramenico

on January 7, 2016

 

Innovative medical treatments have the potential to prevent, treat, and cure diseases, but not if the patients who need the medications can’t afford them. A recent Wall Street Journal article shared the patient and provider perspectives of this growing problem:

“The financial destitution that modern therapies bring on patients and their families is enormous,” John DiPersio, chief of oncology at Washington University School of Medicine, told the Wall Street Journal.

“There’s no way I could do that … It was just prohibitive,” Jacqueline Racene said about choosing not to fill her $8,000 prescription for a leukemia drug.

“If the drug was a couple thousand a month, I could’ve worked it out. But at $12,000 a month, it would have wiped us out in a year,” said Brien Johnson, who was unable to afford the medicine he needed.

Meanwhile in USA Today, three physicians from Johns Hopkins bemoaned how some pharmaceutical companies are hiking up the price and limiting the distribution of medications at will, making access and cost a major challenge for patients and medical professionals.

“It is heartbreaking and appalling that a medication that is off-patent, previously affordable and easily accessible is now mind-numbingly slow to access and costs a fortune. Trying to get this medication from the sole U.S. distributor felt more like standing in a bread line than purchasing a high-end consumer product,” they wrote.

While drugmakers continue to avoid responsibility for soaring drug prices that financially drain families, hospitals, state budgets, and public programs, physicians and patients are standing up for sustainable, affordable drug pricing.