Seniors' drug costs going in wrong direction

info@islandpacket.comOctober 26, 2012 

For those readers on Medicare with a Part D drug policy, take a close look at your drug formulary and pricing structure for next year.

Mine is the AARP-sponsored United Health Plan. The prices for newer drugs, as well as other popular drugs, have dramatically increased for 2013 via your co-payments. Some may not be available at all.

This is because many drugs have been moved up one, two or even more tiers from the current year or removed from the formulary. An added requirement of prior authorization now applies to many more drugs.

An example of these changes is Effient, a newer Plavix-type drug for patients with stents and other heart-related problems. This year it is a tier 3 drug that doesn't require prior authorization. The cost this year for a three-month mail order prescription for Effient on my plan is $108. Next year, it will be a tier 4 drug that requires authorization; it will cost $240 for a three-month supply.

These changes mean fewer seniors will be able to afford the wonders of our American medical system or even be able to get some of these new wonder drugs.

Don't tell me Obamacare is not increasing the cost of and reducing the quality of medical care for seniors in this country.

George H. Smith Jr.

Hilton Head Island

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