When it comes to rising costs in healthcare people will often times point more to procedures such as surgeries, diagnostic imaging, and minimally invasive bedside diagnostic procedures, as the issue. While there is evidence that costs are varying greatly by region and hospital for the same things, pharmaceuticals are a big problem as well. In order to best describe the situation it’s important to take a look at the current debates over cancer combating drugs.
There are drug treatments that range from $30,000 to over $100,000 per year. This is why in part there is such an issue with insurance providers agreeing to certain forms of treatment. While insurance providers themselves can often times make effective treatment difficult, given all the red tape, it can only make it worst to have such high costs.
This issue has way more dimensions and complications that how many CT scans a patient should undergo in order to diagnose and treat a complex condition. The costs associated with complex conditions such as cancer are out of hand in terms of treatment. Retirement plans and carriers should take the same step in order to regulate the cost of certain drugs that they did in order to regulate diagnostic imaging procedures.
The ethics of any pharmaceutical company, willing to charge these prices, are questionable at best. When you consider the fact that many of these drugs can have serious side effects on a patient, and that none of them are a guarantee, it’s irresponsible to make patients incur these costs. As a part of the drive for better healthcare, there needs to be a greater regulation on pricing.
Healthcare has a long way to go and a lot of obstacles to overcome in order to become affordable but a start would be taking serious action with regards to pharmaceutical companies. To quote an article on www.medscape.com, it was stated that “There is still a buzz around the recent paper that showed that the high prices of cancer drugs are harming patients. The forum article received a huge amount of publicity when it was published online in Blood a few months ago, and has apparently spurred American politicians to action.” This type of situation should not have been dealt with so late in the game, it should have been monitored long ago.
It will be interesting to see what kind of action, if any, is taken with regards to this particular situation. Health is not a commodity to be traded in the open market. Hopefully there will be some sort of legislation restricting this out of hand pricing for necessary treatment.
If you have any questions about diagnostic imaging equipment or procedures please feel free to call us. We look forward to taking your call and answering any questions that you may have.