By now you have heard about the rising cost of prescription drugs. When you are taking your patient's history and they say they haven't taken a medication as prescribed because they needed to "stretch it out" is likely a direct result of the cost of prescriptions. You may have even experienced this with a loved one or maybe even yourself. Some providers are adjusting prescription dosing based upon the concerns of patients and their need to make a medication last. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that this would not be considered best practice.
We learned from the remarks of President Biden during the State of Union address 2023, that they are beginning to understand the struggle of millions of citizens. This article will summarize some important changes that will be implemented to the benefit of the American pocketbook.
A rescue plan was signed increasing access to reducing cost of healthcare permanently.
In Nevada, Medicaid was expanded giving access to 300,000 citizens which is up from 100,000 before this change.
Seniors on Medicare used to be subject to paying up to $200 for vaccines such as whooping cough, tetanus and shingles. They are free now under the Inflation Reduction Act.
Medicare is now able to negotiate the cost of drugs as opposed to paying whatever the drug company sets the price.
Beginning January 2023, the cost of insulin is now capped at $35.00 per vial for seniors on Medicare. To assist non-Medicare patients with a similar benefit, companies like Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk have also agreed to cap the price of insulin at the urging of the President's administration.
Drug companies will now be subject to paying back Medicare the amount that they increase the cost of a drug above the pace of inflation.
A proposal has been made for an out of pocket max of $2000.00 for Medicare Part D prescription benefits.
Finally, the administration has secured 5 billion dollars for cancer research through the NIH similar to monies that was secured for the Department of Defense weapons.
While the fight is not over, this is a promising direction aimed at protecting the interest of American health and finances. Let's continue to be advocates for our patients and families. Let's make a concerted effort to understanding the issues that plague the American health systems.