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Opinion: The high cost of illness in the U.S.

The Biden Administration is negotiating with major pharmaceutical companies and Medicare to try to lower the cost of medications in the United States. I don’t know how the talks are going because the media are more concerned about hostilities in the Middle East and the varieties of extreme weather that are attributed to climate change.

Although I’ve known that the cost of prescription drugs in the U.S. is considerably higher than in other countries, I was astounded when I went to a local pharmacy to pick up a new prescription. I was told that the cost for 30 tablets was more than $1,100. Apparently, Medicare denied covering the medication.

I refused the prescription. The following day, I received an email from the pharmacy informing me that Medicare decided to defray most of the expense. I still paid $436 for 30 tablets. If I take this medication for a year, the annual cost will exceed $5,000. And, that started me thinking about other people, especially those who don’t have insurance, who may have ongoing conditions. The cost of prescription drugs can bankrupt even fairly well-to-do families. Here’s what I found.


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