How undisclosed fees are driving up prescription drug costs

How undisclosed fees are driving up prescription drug costs

Hello, Dr. Keith Smith with you on behalf of the Free Market Medical Association, once again with my friend Chad Schmidt. Chad, thanks again for joining us.

Here’s a lie that you believe: all the money that you pay when you pay $100 at the pharmacy goes to the pharmacists and the drug company. That is absolutely a lie and we have Medicare Part D (even if you’re not on Medicare) to thank for one of the latest scams and cost-drivers in the pharmaceutical industry. So, you pay $100 and some portion of that is physically in the pharmacy and then what happens to that money, Chad?

Chad: They pay that $100 and the actual drug cost might be $25. With the PBM, there’s a $75 difference between what’s paid in the co-pay and the actual cost of the drug. The PBM has the ability to retain, because of the DIR fee, a “claw back” which may only reimburse the pharmacy $2, in this example.

Keith: The pharmacy might be underwater on these prescriptions, but the $75 that is clawed back to the distributor is never seen by the patient. All they know is they payed $100 for a drug that might cost $20. They would be better off just paying cash for their prescription and not involving their insurance at all.

Chad: They would, but many times these pharmacists have contracts with their network providers or the PBMs that prohibit them from saying that.

Keith: I’ve told people many times that we need to be angry about all the abuses of the cronies, but we have to keep in mind that in the bank robbery we all know as health care, it really is the federal government that has armed these thieves and is driving the getaway car.

Medicare D with their DIR fees and these claw back provisions have driven up the prescription costs for everyone, whether you are on Medicare or not! If you believe that all of the money you pay stays at the pharmacy, now you have some clue about the circuitous track it actually takes and what thieves are running off with your money.

Thank you Chad for joining us. We’ll see you next time.