Health Insurance Quotation

Quotation of the Day: On cost sharing for cancer drugs

This is a few years old, but still very relevant. It’s from a speech by former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb on March 7, 2018 titled “Capturing the Benefits of Competition for Patients

Patients shouldn’t be penalized by their biology if they need a drug that isn’t on formulary. Patients shouldn’t face exorbitant out of pocket costs, and pay money where the primary purpose is to help subsidize rebates paid to a long list of supply chain intermediaries, or is used to buy down the premium costs for everyone else. After all, what’s the point of a big co-pay on a costly cancer drug? Is a patient really in a position to make an economically-based decision? Is the co-pay going to discourage overutilization? Is someone in this situation voluntary seeking chemo?
Of course not. Yet the big co-pay or rebate on the costly drug can help offset insurers’ payments to the pharmacy, and reduce average insurance premiums. But sick people aren’t supposed to be subsidizing the healthy.

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