I have psoriasis and I have treated it with an assortment of prescriptions over the years. Just recently, though, I went in to renew a prescription for desoximetasone after I changed my insurance plan. The medication was going to cost me $260! The total cost was about $440 and my insurance covered the balance. The medicine consisted of a 60 gram tube of vaseline with a microscopic amount (0.25% or about 0.15 grams) of a steroid added. Since the cost was almost entirely based on the steroid ( the vaseline and tube probably cost a few cents) that means the the steroid itself was selling for the amazing price of $83,000 per ounce.
What is that stuff made from, unicorn horns?
But the price of the medicine had not increased, just my visibility of that price. One of the causes of the ridiculously high cost of health care in this country is the fact that most of the time people don’t see the cost of their care. They see the doctor, get the medicines or treatment, the insurance company pays the bill and the patients never need to even look at a statement. I was shocked to think of how many times I had spent hundreds of someone’s dollars on a medication that was only marginally beneficial. I thought I was paying for most or all of the cost with my $10. I would have told the doctor I wanted a different medication if I had known what it was actually costing. I previously had a medication that worked just as well and actually cost less than the $10 copay, so I know I was paying the full cost.
Have you ever looked at the total cost of your health care? Have you ever asked your doctor if there is a lower cost option that will provide similar benefits?