Intermountain Healthcare leads charge against rising drug costs

Hospital systems across U.S. join to to make generic drugs

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  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Jan. 19, 2018 1:35 p.m.

    JMerrill wrote: " I own a business and have the privilege of paying an average of $12,400 per employee this year for health coverage ($1.3 million for 105 covered employees and their dependents.) "

    May I point out that Mr. Merrill's health insurance premiums for his employees will cover only about 1/10 of a compensation package for ONE health insurance CEO?

    The obscene pay packages of health care and pharmaceutical executives is probably the main reason why our health care costs have become completely unreasonable.

    Make America Sane (and Safe) Again

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Jan. 19, 2018 1:06 p.m.

    This is one of the best ideas to surface in American Health Care in many years.

    ONLY when we find ways to remove profit mongering from health care will we have any hope.

    When health care execs of all kinds are being paid an average of about $55,000 PER DAY, we have a system that is completely unredeemable. Their are not at all interested in providing affordable health care for American families. Their only purpose is to suck in as much money as they can for the companies' shareholders.

    Health Care must be made nonprofit.

    It used to be. And for those of us old enough to remember, we know it worked very well.

  • JMerrill Provo, UT
    Jan. 19, 2018 11:16 a.m.

    IHC is a superbly well-run organization. The nicest, newest buildings in most Utah communities are IHC facilities. The staff is professional and well-compensated. Without "includ[ing] overly speculative thoughts or information not included in the story" may I suggest that if IHC has the resources to fund business start-ups, they also consider reducing the cost of care to patients? I own a business and have the privilege of paying an average of $12,400 per employee this year for health coverage ($1.3 million for 105 covered employees and their dependents.) Perhaps real cost control could accompany IHC's investments in companies and facilities.

    Thanks

  • Owl Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 19, 2018 10:52 a.m.

    IHC is a non-profit and as such they are required to provide a certain amount of indigent care, something that for profit hospitals in Utah avoid especially those owned by doctors. The cost for this activity comes at the expense of those with insurance. Just as there is no free lunch, there is no free MRI.

    IHC's entrance into the generic drug market is innovative and much needed. If one cost accounts the actual expense of giving a Tylenol which includes nurses, pharmacists, paper work documentation and inventory, it is indeed $5.

  • cmsense Kaysville, UT
    Jan. 19, 2018 5:36 a.m.

    This is an interesting proposition. I would like to know if it works out. Large hospital chains banding together to go into the generic drug industry. That must tell you how bad the gouging is on these meds, if it may be cheaper to band together and go through all the regulations, hiring, building facilities etc that must be incredibly expensive up front to make cheaper generics. I hope it works out. It is obscene when a formerly very cheap drug suddenly goes up 500% or 1000% in price because of changing generic landscapes.

  • Iron Rod Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 19, 2018 2:22 a.m.

    Sounds like to me the Pharmaceutical reps are out in force today.

    My question after expenses do the pharmaceutical companies make to much profit.

    I want to emphasis after expenses!!

    Can the market system lower the price we pay for drugs?

    Please correct me if I am wrong but did not our own Republican Senator Orin Hatch have a role in prohibiting "Medicare" from negotiating drug prices with the pharmaceutical companies.

    Is not Medicare the largest purchaser of pharmaceuticals from these companies? Do not large purchasers normally receive discounts?

    Again please correct me if I am wrong but did our senators write a law prohibiting the Medicare from negotiating prices with the drug companies?

    Just who were our political representatives representing the purchasers of their products (Consumers and Medicare) or the manufactures who give political donations?

    Your response or justification for this law shielding the companies from the market forces would be appreciated.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 19, 2018 1:03 a.m.

    @Diligent Dave "I had surgery at an IHC hospital this last summer [3 days]....I wasn't in in ICU, and I didn't even have oxygen given to me. Cost charged? Nearly $78,000. And that amount doesn't include even doctors' fees etc., which were substantially less than what the hospital charged me....With the savings they might get on medications, they are IMO, much more than making up for them in other charges."

    Probably. IHC is a "nonprofit." What does that mean? Rest assured, though IHC does not declare dividends, it does make big profits, due in large part to imperfections in the health care market, i.e. non-competitive big time. It has been well established IHC pays its corporate brass generously going back to the 1980's. That's where some of the profit goes.

    This measure may help some, but this report confirms how corrupt the private health care business is, and how inefficient American health care is. We pay twice as much per capita for health care as other developed countries and don't get any better results.

    If the private health care system can't improve, socialized medicine is the only way out.

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 18, 2018 9:13 p.m.

    Generic drugs can be good but they aren't always the same as the actual drug. IHC does need to do something about the $5.00 Tylenol. One time I had surgery and they weren't even able to get one of my medications. They had to have one of my family members bring mine from home which was far cheaper than what they would have charged me if they had been able to get the medication at their pharmacy. They told me that. It should not have cost anymore there than what I had paid at my own pharmacy.

  • Diligent Dave Logan, UT
    Jan. 18, 2018 8:45 p.m.

    I had surgery at an IHC hospital this last summer. Nothing life threatening. Until the rehab center I was going to got authorization for my health insurance company, I was in this hospital for three days.

    I wasn't in in ICU, and I didn't even have oxygen given to me. Cost charged? Nearly $78,000. And that amount doesn't include even doctors' fees etc., which were substantially less than what the hospital charged me.

    With the savings they might get on medications, they are IMO, much more than making up for them in other charges.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 18, 2018 7:23 p.m.

    A good solution when dealing with generics and "orphan" drugs, the rights to which have sometimes been snapped up and obscenely priced with unconscionable greed by a few people.

    However, do not let this spill over into unjustifiable rage at the prices for drugs still covered by patents. Yes, they may be expensive, and cost far more than the pennies worth of material in them. But, they exist only because "big pharma" invested millions of dollars inventing them, and getting them approved by the FDA, a very long and arduous process. For every hugely profitable drug used by millions they have been able to develop similar miracle drugs for maladies which afflict a tiny number of people, and the research, development and approval costs are huge. We must never stifle the ability of "big pharma" to innovate and invent, and profit from their efforts as we enjoy the life saving benefits of their work.

    Big pharma routinely helps those who cannot afford drugs, and their profits are usually pretty reasonable, unlike a handful of greedy scoundrels.