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Abbott Laboratories Message Board

  • sellhi_2000 sellhi_2000 Nov 16, 2000 11:16 AM Flag

    Obsessive cost concerns cost patients

    Some of Abbott's patented drugs aren't moving
    well because of obsessive cost

    Concerns by whom? This is where the buck gets passed.
    Pharmacies, overly concerned with budgets, assert
    "indications" to thwart physicians'(the brave ones) efforts to
    use drugs "off label", even when they know, or at
    least suspect, these efforts save lives. Physician
    income is penalized when costs of care exceed "fixed
    reimbursement" payments, so doctors settle for cheaper,lower
    quality regimens. Both doctors and pharmacies justify
    their rejection of better drugs by demanding "outcome
    studies" they know either a) drug companies can't afford
    or b) are impossible to conduct. Medicine as art has
    not just taken a back seat to medicine as science,
    it's been put in the trunk.

    Without patent
    protections, new drugs won't get developed. Without
    market-based economies, no one can afford them.

    solution is a return to fee for services rendered
    arrangement wherein individual insurance companies offer
    whatever policies they want, giving consumers choice, and
    doctors decide what drugs to use. Uncovered costs are
    passed on the patient, pure and simple.

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    • Sellhi 2000, I agree with everything you said.
      Problem is when the cost is passed on to the patient and
      the patient is less than wealthy, (given the
      prevailing wind in Congress) the taxpayer will end up with
      the bill.

      When the politicians decry the
      rising cost of prescriptions for the elderly, they
      conveniently forget the reason drugs represent an ever
      increasing percent of elderly health care costs. There are
      dozens of new drugs coming on the market every year that
      can offer a better quality of life for the elderly.
      Naturally, when you buy more drugs that are newer and better
      than what was available before, you spend more money.
      People are taking more drugs today than they did
      yesterday because more drugs are available today than
      yesterday. Doesn't take a genius to figure out why dollars
      spent on drugs are increasing. Everyone wants to live
      better or healthier. Better living through chemistry!

      • 2 Replies to herestothebulls
      • One more thing. Losses associated with patients
        who don't pay (America has no debtors' prisons) would
        be built into the costs of care. Hospitals refusing
        indigents would be subject to public opprobrium, perhaps
        even boycotts. We reached that point back in 1988 when
        reports of refused service started surfacing. The problem
        would have taken care of itself but leftist liberals
        co-opted the issue before free-market social forces could
        close the wounds. Government involvement has been
        growing ever since. Let's hope Bush gets elected so we
        can scale it back.

      • Yes, even under a fee for service system there
        would be a safety net for the truly needy; Medicare
        wouldn't completely go away. But first, the bill goes to
        the patient, who then gets means tested for
        reimbursement. Far more people than just the "less than wealthy"
        wouldn't qualify. How and where do you draw the line? Let
        the legislatures figure that out. The lower the
        threshold, the more creative insurance companies can become
        to enable even people of marginal means to own
        insurance. Would these people have to sacrifice something?
        Probably. Instead of a $400 fancy car payment, they might
        instead choose to be insured. But they'd have the freedom
        to choose instead of being FORCED to be part of a
        taxpayer pool.

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