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Thread: Why do discount prescription cards work?

  1. #16
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    Sep 2013
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    Discount cards and such are all about getting you to fill the scrip. It's marketing. 90% of people with good insurance probably never look twice or ask about the prices of their prescriptions. The other 10% are the targets of discounts, cards, programs, etc etc. The price-sensitive folks will often not fill a marginally needed prescription, if they can be induced to do so with a promotion that's a win for the pharma company. (who still makes money, even at the discounted price).

    Long ago I interned in the marketing strategy department of a major pharma company. A lot of time and energy went into ideas to improve "fill rate". Marketing strategy in pharma is all about filling as many prescriptions as possible at the highest price that each particular consumer will pay for that prescription. -- up to and including the time-tested "the first one is free" pitch.

  2. #17
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    Don't get me started about pharmacy benefits managers who are middlemen who screw both the insurance companies and the consumers, all in the name of "saving money" which is the opposite of what they do.

    60 Minutes did a piece on them about a year or so ago. Ripped into the I believe 2 PBM companies who control the market.

    They are slime. Basically, GoodRx still makes money on your massively discounted prescriptions. Which shows you just how high the markup really is.

    Now our insurance company won't deduct the cost of a prescription you use the pharmaceutic companies discount card to fill (usually those $0 cost coupons on their websites) from your deductible. So, essentially, you never reach your deductible if using discounts.

    There isn't much either of these two types of companies haven't thought of to abuse the consumer.
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  3. #18
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    Oct 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Lightstone View Post
    Don't get me started about pharmacy benefits managers who are middlemen who screw both the insurance companies and the consumers, all in the name of "saving money" which is the opposite of what they do.

    60 Minutes did a piece on them about a year or so ago. Ripped into the I believe 2 PBM companies who control the market.

    They are slime. Basically, GoodRx still makes money on your massively discounted prescriptions. Which shows you just how high the markup really is.

    Now our insurance company won't deduct the cost of a prescription you use the pharmaceutic companies discount card to fill (usually those $0 cost coupons on their websites) from your deductible. So, essentially, you never reach your deductible if using discounts.

    There isn't much either of these two types of companies haven't thought of to abuse the consumer.
    Amen brother. The PBMs are firmly entrenched into the Ohio medical support programs (Medicaid, Medicare) and it's been documented that they suck out about $180M a year from taxpayers. Unfortunately they have the plenty of state politicians in their pockets so revamping the system is not going to happen anytime soon.
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  4. #19
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    Sep 2016
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    Medical pricing is insane. The insurance companies pay it because they see the cost benefit relationship.
    Redemisphere costs under one dollar a dose to make. It sells for over $300 a dose. If it keeps a covid patient out of the ICU for one day more it saves the insurance company thousands. They can sell it with a 50% discount and still make a nice profit after development costs as long as there is no decades long class action suit claiming it made many male patients loose their hair 50 years latter.
    Bil lD.

  5. #20
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    I recently mentioned transitioning to Medicare from a discontinued employer retiree medical plan. After deciding on my medical coverage I started investigating drug plans. It’s crazy. That’s about all I care to say about it.
    My three favorite things are the Oxford comma, irony, and missed opportunities

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  6. #21
    The GoodRX card works whether you have insurance or not. My 5 prescriptions are free with my Medicare Advantage plan but certain drugs which are not on the tier 1 plan can cost a fortune. I use the GoodRx card to buy Lidocane patches and I save about $100 per box of 30.
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  7. Years ago, I stopped to buy an inhaler for my step son. My medical insurance hadn't kicked in yet and the clerk told me the price and I paid cash with no insurance. It was something like $12. a month later I stopped at the same pharmacy to get another of the exact same thing. But this time I had insurance. The charge was $18. I complained to the clerk and they said that was a mistake. I went out to the car and got the old receipt out of the glove box and went back in. The Clerk turned beet red. I ended up talking to the pharmacist who gave me the wildest cock and bull story about the insurance contract saying that is what they were required to charge people with that coverage. I called the insurance company about it, and was told that wasn't true. I never went back to that pharmacy, couldn't it was closed a month later. My wife has very good insurance now that covers me. I pick up all her prescriptions. She has been getting the same one every month for at least 4 years. Some months it is $1.50, the next it it $4, then back down to $2. Makes no sense.

  8. #23
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    I went to the ER on Jan 1 and when I went to the hospital pharmacy to get my prescription my new pharmacy insurance wasn't working yet. Retail price was something over $50. The pharmacist said they would run it through a discount card and it came out to under $10!

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenn bradley View Post
    People are frequently confused by the insurance company’s business model. It is advertised as providing you a service. The business model actually consists of collecting premiums; as large and as often as possible.
    Yes, and my model consists of paying as little as possible, as infrequently as possible, this is a friction between buyer and seller just naturally exists in our society.
    Dennis

  10. #25
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Fairbanks AK
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    Once upon a time, late 1990s or early 00s, I ran across a new drug in my clinical practice that worked really really well. At the time I was young, single, had money, owned a few stocks and I went looking at the drug maker to see about buying some stock.

    I ran for the hills. I looked at a few more pharmeceutical companies after looking at the first one and was just appalled. At the time, the vast majority of a pharmaceutical company's operating profits went into research (good/supportable) and lawsuits with other pharmaceutical companies. I haven't looked at the "investors page" of any pharma company lately, but the big ones should all have an "investors" button on the home page if you want to see their balance sheet, where they are spending their money.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Quorn United Kingdom
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    I live in the United Kingdom The cost price of generic drugs is set by the Uk Government If you would like to compare the cost price of drugs in the UK Please see the link below

    http://www.drugtariff.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/...D00791615/Home

    and scroll down to


    Part VIIIA - Basic Prices of Drugs Product List



    • Part VIIIA products A
    • Part VIIIA products B
    • Part VIIIA products C
    • Part VIIIA products D
    • Part VIIIA products E
    • Part VIIIA products F
    • Part VIIIA products G
    • Part VIIIA products H
    • Part VIIIA products I
    • Part VIIIA products J
    • Part VIIIA products K
    • Part VIIIA products L
    • Part VIIIA products M
    • Part VIIIA products N
    • Part VIIIA products O
    • Part VIIIA products P
    • Part VIIIA products Q
    • Part VIIIA products R
    • Part VIIIA products S
    • Part VIIIA products T
    • Part VIIIA products U
    • Part VIIIA products V
    • Part VIIIA products W
    • Part VIIIA products X
    • Part VIIIA products Y
    • Part VIIIA products Z

    The prices are in UK pence example Baclofen 10 mg cost 158 .....means 84 tablets cost £1.58 or $2.05
    Last edited by Brian Deakin; 10-31-2020 at 7:17 AM.

  12. #27
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    Jul 2005
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    Cincinnati Ohio
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    My mom is on an RX. $460 but with a discount card $10.
    "Remember back in the day, when things were made by hand, and people took pride in their work?"
    - Rick Dale

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