I read Luke Dalton’s column on Sunday with great interest.
Dalton’s comments are spot-on, but that is only the half of it. I work in the pharmaceutical industry, in particular Medicare Part D. Every day, I am forced to explain to my clients why their costs for Tier 3 and 4 medications have gone up. I am talking about mainly insulin, inhaler and any other medication that is advertised on TV.
They are wondering why something that had cost $131 or so for a 90-day supply now will cost them $450 or more. They are speechless, to say the least. I tell them about the coverage gap, better known as the doughnut hole.
The new cost is a percentage, currently 35 percent, of the whole cost that Medicare must pay to the pharmaceutical manufacturers. I tell them that the total cost for such medications typically is $1,200, $1,300, $1,400 or more, based upon the way that the prescription is written, for a 90-day supply. And that is just this year. God knows what they will charge next year.
When I am asked, “How can they charge so much for my drugs?” I tell them they do so because they can! I also remind them that it is awful, but lawful.
The worst part for me is to listen to older people literally cry on the phone because they must choose between food, rent, heat or medication. This is the real obscenity of the situation. These circumstances exist simply because we the people have allowed it to happen. This gouging of the public for private profit will stand only until we the people make it stop!
So, the next time any conniving, spineless politicians tell us that there is no health care crisis, or that the high costs of life-saving drugs cannot be changed, ask them how much money they received from big pharma for their campaigns.
William E. Hewitt Jr., Salt Lake City