Different Takes: Covid Made Anti-Vax Movement Worse; Tackling Exorbitant Prescription Drug Costs
Opinion writers examine some unexpected consequences of the pandemic, as well as prescription cost issues.
Los Angeles Times:
The Anti-Vax Movement Was Already Getting Scary. COVID Supercharged It
Conspiracy theorists’ disinformation has led to the deaths of thousands of Americans every week by discouraging COVID-19 vaccinations. That toll will end up being a tiny fraction of the anti-vax movement’s body count. Even when this pandemic is over, an energized base of anti-vaxxers will lead to more deaths for years to come. The uptake of standard childhood vaccines was already declining before COVID-19 hit, leaving more and more children vulnerable to diseases like diphtheria, measles, rubella, smallpox, mumps, tetanus and whooping cough. Since the pandemic began, we’re also seeing more politics-driven attacks on state mandates for pre-school vaccination. Long-vanquished child-killing diseases will rise again, just because parents have been fooled into rejecting safe, long-proven vaccines. (John P. Moore, 2/25)
How To Repair The Pandemic’s Damage To Cancer Care
In the pandemic’s third year, we are beginning to discern the total picture of Covid-19’s damage. Beneath the coronavirus’s own staggering death toll and the suffering it has inflicted lie many layers of collateral damage. One of the largest of these is Covid’s disruption to cancer prevention and care. (Lisa Jarvis, 2/24)
Medication Insecurity Is The Next Public Health Crisis
Nearly 2 billion people worldwide lack consistent access to the medicines they need to treat diabetes, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other life-threatening illnesses. They are “medicine insecure,” meaning they don’t have reliable, equitable access to the medicine and supplies they need. (Julie Varughese, 2/24)
I Need Insulin To Stay Alive. It's Gradually Being Priced Out Of My Reach
It happened at the supermarket a few years ago, as I stood in the checkout line: My breathing became labored and my vision blurred. My throat felt parched. I became fatigued and so irritable that I snapped at my daughter, who had accompanied me to the store. I knew what was happening: These were the effects of insulin rationing. I had only taken half my prescribed dose of insulin and my blood sugar was spiking. I hadn't been able to pay for a prescription refill, and had taken less than a full dose of insulin, so that the supply I had could tide me over until payday. I knew I could be risking my kidneys, my eyesight, or possibly death. However, I had to pay the mortgage, keep food on the table and the electricity on. (Mindy Salango, 2/24)
Dallas Morning News:
Dear Watchdog, How Does GoodRx Knock Down The Price So Steeply For Many Drugs At The Pharmacy?
Recently, out of curiosity, I showed a pharmacist a GoodRx discount card I had in my pocket and the price of my medicine of $105 was reduced to $16. I was stunned! I started thinking how GoodRx makes a profit, and why would a pharmacy discount their price so much just because you show them a plastic card sent to you? I wanted to know how much the drug price varied at different pharmacies, so I did a small survey. All the pharmacies I visited couldn’t give me a price because they needed a prescription. But the fact that the same drug can cost up to five times more in one pharmacy than another – and with the use of a discount card you can get up to an 85% reduction in costs shows how distorted and dysfunctional drug pricing is. (Dave Lieber, 2/24)