High Drug Prices Spell Trouble For Hospitals And Patients Across America
High Drug Prices Spell Trouble For Hospitals And Patients Across America by: Daniel Jennings – Off the Grid News
TDC Note – Maybe if big pharma stopped advertising their drugs on TV, radio and print ads the cost would go down. Maybe if the drugs stopped killing people, thereby curtailing lawsuits the cost would go down. There, two ways big pharma can cut cost and save lives.
Over 90% of U.S. hospitals admit to cutting or changing care because of high drug prices. Moreover, high drug prices are forcing hospitals to cut staff to get money for medicine.
Specifically, drug prices grew by 18.5%, between 2015 and 2017, as Healthcare Dive reports. Hospitals further state that prices for some drugs grew by 80% between 2015 and 2017.
For example, the average hospital’s drug bill grew by $1.8 million between 2015 and 2017, a University of Chicago report concludes. Furthermore, outpatient drug spending at hospitals grew by 28.7% between 2015 and 2017.
Hospitals are losing any money that they save with outpatient treatment to these remarkably high drug costs. Particularly, outpatient drug costs were 9.6% higher than inpatient drug costs.
High Drug Prices Force Hospitals To Cut Staff
At the present time, one in four hospitals surveyed admit to cutting staff to find money to cover high drug costs.
Additionally, 90% of hospital administrators disclose that they are using alternative treatments due to high drug prices. A drastic example of such alternative treatment would be amputating an infected limb instead of applying antibiotics.
Notably, hospitals report 80% increases in the prices of opioid pain relievers, anesthetics, and chemotherapy drugs. In this case, another example of alternative treatments could be surgery or radiation instead of chemotherapy for a cancer patient.
Medicare Is Not Covering High Drug Prices Anymore
Medicare is currently making the situation worse because high drug prices often exceed Medicare reimbursements. As a result, hospitals must use operating funds to buy drugs for Medicare patients.