Prices Prices Prices
Medicare Drugs Turn Doctors into Millionaires
show comments
  • Anthony

    As has been said on TAI before, the selling of health care is issue much deserving of scrutiny. “Many health care providers have set up shop in America. From a pure business perspective, those business are almost all economic successes – winners – not economic losers. Expecting our current massive, very well-financed, high-revenue,high-margin, high-growth, high-cost health care infrastructure to voluntarily take steps to reduce costs and prices, and expecting our care infrastructure to also voluntarily and spontaneously improve either care outcomes or care quality is unfortunately naive. Health care in America is a robust and growing nonsystem of immense size, scope, and scale. It is very well fed.” The reimbursement system creates incentives to maximize costs – the selling of health care!

  • free_agent

    It seems that in this case it would be straightforward to cut the injection fee for Lucentis to be the same as that for Avastin. Why is the injection fee calculated as a percentage of the drug cost? The cost of the substance seems to bear no relationship to the work needed to inject it. Though there may be overhead costs related to the M.D. having to keep the stuff in inventory.

    • Andrew Allison

      Although the 6% not an injection fee but a commission, you are otherwise right-on. The doctor’s expense is the same whether the drug costs $50 or $2000, and the payment should be flat-rate. This is a no brainer, and would eliminate the incentive to prescribe the most costly drug available. As an aside, an MD who prescribes Lucentis when Avastin will get the job done is guilty of fraud, and should be treated accordingly. The same, incidentally, is true of any proprietary drug for which an equally effective generic is available. The solution to this problem is equally simple: reimburse the patient who insists on the proprietary drug the cost of the generic equivalent.

  • free_agent

    Though it seems that some of the news reporting is rather distorted. If an ophthalmologist is paid an extra $1 million for administering Lucentis, he’s only keeping $60,000 of that. That’s not pin money, but it doesn’t make him into a millionaire. We need numbers on “gross margin” not “total revenue”.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2017 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.