Prescription costs skyrocket for cancer, other diseases

Published: Tuesday, May 29 2012 11:10 a.m. MDT

Pharmacy bills and health insurance premiums are going up by hundreds of dollars each month, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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Pharmacy bills and health insurance premiums are going up by hundreds of dollars each month, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Until recently, thousands of patients across the U.S. have been able to pay small co-pays for specialty prescription drugs for cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and other ailments, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Bus Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna and other health insurance companies are moving more prescriptions to a category that shifts a big portion of the drug's cost to the consumer, according to the article. Robert Gomer, who owns an interior plant business in Rancho Mirage, Calif., went from paying $80 a month to $450 a month for three HIV drugs.

"All of a sudden you're starting to count pills and asking friends to borrow some," Gomer told the Los Angeles Times. "It was a very stressful situation to be faced with."

Some companies are shifting medications to the expensive tier for a lot of their employer plans to make premiums more affordable. But that move might backfire, according to the article. The shift could result in workers going without needed medications forcing them to get even more medical care later.

EMAIL: bbullock@desnews.com

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