The Rising Costs of Medications

News & SocietyNews

  • Author Elliot Bigman
  • Published June 5, 2010
  • Word count 591

0n March 26, 2010, as surely the whole country is aware, huge new changes occurred on a national level. The subject of health care and prescription drug costs has riveted the attention of Florida citizens.

People who seek quotes for health care insurance and those who consider themselves adequately insured seem to share the same concerns about the quality and affordability of future care for themselves and their families.

The "broad strokes" of the law are in place, but there are many fine points yet to be determined.

When people voice worries about the current and future price of medicine, these are concerns well founded, and enormous amount of health care spending goes toward prescription medications.

Medications for the cardiovascular system, cholesterol reduction, pain relief, depression and diabetes are the drugs most frequently prescribed.

Many drugs in these categories have had dramatic jumps in price in recent months and years.

A report released in December 2009 entitled "Report to Congressional Requesters BRAND-NAME PRESCRIPTION DRUG PRICING was carried out by The Governmental Accountability Office (GAO). According to the report, the GAO examined "extraordinary price increases for brand-name prescription drugs."

The study focused upon "price increases of 100 percent or more which occurred at a single point in time between 2000 and 2008."

The medications with extraordinary leaps in price consisted of 416 brand-name drug products. 321 different drug brands were represented.

The study conclusions indicated that with every year that passed, these price increases more than doubled each year between 2000 and 2008. "The number of extraordinary price increases each year more than doubled. Price increases typically ranged between 100 percent and 499 percent, but at least one drug went up 1000%.

Examples of commonly used drugs found in the GAO report of extraordinary price increases through 2008 include Actos, Avandia, Claritin, Cipro, DIovan, Effexor, Flexeril, Lipitor, Lunesta, Lyrica, Motrin, Vioxx, Paxil, Pepcid, Phenergan, Prilosec, Synthroid, Zocor, Toprol, Valium, Valtrex, and Zoloft, to name a few out of hundreds.

In the last year, price increases have been steep. On November 16, 2009, the New York Times reports in an article entitled, "Drug Makers Raise Prices in Face of Health Care Reform", that the industry has recently raised the wholesale prices of brand-name prescription drugs by about 9 percent, according to industry analysts. Their sources have determined that this year had the "highest annual rate of inflation for drug prices since 1992." The NYT points out that this growth in drug costs is in complete opposition to the Consumer Price Index, which fell last year. Analysts determine that the changes to this year's Health Care Reform meant to help seniors in "the donut hole" of Medicare D will be completely off-set by these price hikes. With costs like these, it's important to be well insured.

Various plans offered through Bay Marketing and BCBC of Florida provide long-term value and security. Advantage65 of BCBSF, includes a variety of network-based Medicare supplement plans that can be customized to fit one's needs. CompCoverage offers five supplemental insurance plans. Blue Medicare PPO features no referrals plus prescription drug coverage. Blue Medicare HMO (provided by Health Options, Inc.) includes prescription drug coverage and preventive health care. Blue Medicare Rx (Medicare Part D) has improved, low cost options, with some with no deductibles.

BCBSF also offers dental, disability, life, and long-term care insurance policies, and flexible Spending Accounts, (FSA) and Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRA) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA).

Bay Marketing has a plan that's a sure fit for you and your loved ones.

See for our great line of products for all ages and stages of life. Contact us today!

Serving central and west coast Florida, Bay Marketing, a licensed independent contractor with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, has been providing insurance plan information for individuals and employers during the last twenty years. Many of their professional agents specialize in commercial health insurance for the florida business owner. Contact Bay Marketing for an online individual and group insurance quote at Florida Health Plans Online,

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