Drug pricing's "double whammy" for patients with chronic illnesses
Rising deductibles paired with the rising cost of medications for chronic conditions has left middle-income Americans saddled with debt and skipping out on their treatment, the L.A. Times reports.
Why it matters: Care for conditions like cancer, diabetes and epilepsy— which require regular treatment, including drugs— are costing the insured thousands of dollars a year, a major shift from when deductibles were lower or nonexistent.
- "That has made being sick in the U.S. dramatically more expensive," the Time's Noam Levey writes.
For example: One recent study found that in 2016, people taking multiple sclerosis drugs paid, on average, $3,708 in out-of-pocket costs for the drugs each year. The cost for patients with high deductible plans was, on average, almost $8,000 a year.
- But 15 years ago, the average out-of-pocket cost for these drugs was $244.
The bottom line: When patients ration their own care to try to save money, it puts their health — and even their lives — at risk.