Examining The High Cost Of Combination Prescription Drugs | NBC News NOW

Channel: NBC News
Published: 12/31/2019

Description
Combination medications are those that are mixed with other drugs to make a new one. And they often come with a big price tag. NBC News investigates the pricing of this expensive drug type. » Subscribe to NBC News: http://nbcnews.to/SubscribeToNBC » Watch more NBC video: http://bit.ly/MoreNBCNew...



Transcript
High cost of health care is a huge issue for americans heading into 2020, including the cost of prescription drugs. Nbc news investigated why some combination medical medications, those that combine old drugs to make a new one come with such big price tags? Perfect love, it love the art. So, let's focus on the art. Suzanne luttig is a freelance photographer in omaha. Nicely done, love it, but she ...
orks a second job as a teller because it comes with insurance to afford her acid reflux medicine, a generic version of zagreb. That insurance has saved her a whopping fourteen thousand dollars for a 90-day supply. According to her pharmacy receipt. It was immediate relief, she's taking what's calleda combination. Drug zeg rid is one pill that combines two over-the-counter medications: generic prilosec and sodium bicarbonate, also known as baking soda. I don't understand why, when you have prilosec and baking soda - and you put those two together, why does it all of a sudden become $ 14,000? I don't get it. They get away with it because they can't they can set drug prices based on what the market will bear. Dr.

hana saks, an internist and medical researcher at mass general hospital says combining two medications into one should not be so expensive. She studied the price difference between brand-name combination, drugs and their generic components. Take sigrid $ 86 per pill versus 47 cents for the twogeneric ingredients, vamo veau and arthritis pain, reliever, 30 dollars per pill versus 35 cents for the generics do exes another pain, reliever 20 dollars per pill versus 28 cents. These are small tweaks on existing medications that have been around for decades in some cases, and the doctors have known and been using for these purposes. For years, her study found that brand-name combination, drugs, cost medicare close to a billion dollars. Is there any kind of magic to these new combination? Drugs? Magic? No, no, there's no magic way. I think about. It, is in a lot of ways we're paying for the repackaging here. What'S more list prices for some of these combination, drugs have skyrocketed, toexis $ 139. For a month's supply eight years ago tops twenty four hundred dollars today, most patients and even doctors have no idea. How do these costs remain? Hidden? The costs were made hidden because a physician when they're prescribing may not know exactly how much a drug costs when the patient goes and picks it up at the pharmacy. They only know what the copay is.

Suzann mladic's copay, for example, is just $ 24. So if the patient doesn't realize it and the doctor doesn't realize it and yet behind the scenes, all of these price hikes are unfolding. Another example: vamo vosges list price has gone up ten times over the years, a jump of two thousand percentin the first three months. We also had about thirty four million in revenues. Tim walbert, ceo of horizon therapeutics, which makes vamo veau and do axis declined our request for an interview. The company told us patients don't pay the full list. Price out-of-pocket costs for 98 percent of insured patients is 10 dollars or less and that the company nets less than three hundred dollars for each prescription, but it adds up. The two drugs have brought in more than 1. 3 billion dollars in eight years. Over that time, wall bert's total compensation by the company, which makes several drugs more than 50 million dollars horizon also says: providing pain, relief and a stomach protected in a singlepill is better for patients. I could see the convenience in taking one pill and set it to for some people. The question here is at what cost: if patients are paying so little out-of-pocket, why should they care? Because this is a cost that we all have to pay? This is part of the reason for the rising cost of prescription drugs and the rising cost of healthcare in this country that we all have to care about.

The maker of brand names egger had declined to comment. The maker of the generic version said many factors go into the cost of a patient's medication and, if you're wondering whether you should take to cheaper generic drugs instead ofone expensive combination, drug, that's something should discuss with your doctor. Hey nbc news viewers, thanks for checking out our youtube channel subscribe by clicking on that button down here and click on any of the videos over here to watch. The latest interviews show highlights and digital exclusives thanks for watching.


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