I spoke with an independent pharmacist who, after haggling with an insurance company over diabetes medication duly prescribed by a physician, ended up making thirty-seven cents on the script. A recent University of Texas survey of Lone Star State voters identified healthcare as a leading concern. Across the board skyrocketing healthcare costs grab people’s attention as we look for ways to make medicine more affordable – but at what cost?
The local independent pharmacy has long been a staple of communities across the country. They’re going to disappear if they continue being strangled by insurers.
Healthcare costs need to be managed, but the default of policymakers seems to be to cede the search for a solution to insurance companies who are lining their pockets with outrageous profits while not really managing anything. What they are doing is shifting expenses around to benefit themselves to the detriment of others in healthcare who they are all too willing to blame for rising costs.
According to Fortune, Americans spend more than $3.6 trillion annually on healthcare. The amount is larger than the GDPs of such countries as Brazil, the U.K., Mexico, Spain, and Canada. This level of spending is by far the highest in the developed world. To an extent this is to be expected, but according to data from the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development it is more than twice that of other developed nations with similar economies.
Following Cigna’s “combination” with Express Scripts, as they referred to it in a press release, the insurer’s profits grew by 93.5%. Pharmacy colossus CVS’ take-over of health insurer Aetna at the end of 2018 sent its 2019 net income soaring to $6.6 billion. Yet, these same insurers audit profitable independent pharmacies – demanding “clawbacks” of claims. These “clawbacks” siphon away profits; making it harder for these pharmacies to keep their doors open, moving more and more business to the big chain pharmacies the insurers own.
Prescription drug prices are not being managed; they’re being manipulated. Americans are suffering while big insurers are pulling the strings.
– Jon Boski, President and CEO of Medcillary
Jon Boski is CEO of Dallas based Medcillary – one of the country’s largest and most reliable pharmacy sourcing organizations. Providing community and country-wide pharmacy solutions to prescribers based on clinical and geographic needs.