High Drug prices have been the subject of endless news stories. Politicians are railing against greedy “Big Pharma.” It is hardly surprising people ask , “what does Dave’s Plan do to control drug prices if anything?” They note the subject isn’t specifically mentioned. That’s true , but only because medicine is an integral part of healthcare not something apart. One of the basic tenets of”Dave’s Plan” is to make the vast majority of healthcare transactions for cash by individuals. Today the incomprehensible 3rd party maze of drug companies, pharmacy-benefit managers (PBMs), discounts, rebates and insurance companies have resulted in Americans in many cases are paying much more for patented and other drugs than they should. Yet Americans also have the most access to the advanced and in many cases life saving drugs in the world which of course is the real meaning of medicine. After all, leaches may be cheap but are hardly crest of the medical wave. So what is the best way to balance price and the best medicines. Scott W. Atlas of the Hoover Institution writing in the Wall Street Journal asked “so how can policy makers bring drug prices down? By empowering consumers not insurers or other intermediaries.” That is exactly what Dave’s Plan does by allowing transactions to be made at the first dollar for cash.
We know this works even today. With deductibles getting ever higher, shopping around can mean real savings. Use pricing apps such as GoodRX.com or RXSaver. Shop online at Blink Health.com or HealthWarehouse.com. Rather than using your insurance, just asking what the drug price would be if you pay cash at the pharmacy might result in major savings. New rules allow pharmacists to quot e direct prices,but only if you ask. If cash does better in many cases now, imagine what the price pressure would be from virtually all Americans paying cash and looking for the best deal? Could Amazon, Walmart or new entrants ignore such a vast market? That would be the case under Dave’s Plan.