Watching 60 Minutes on Sunday night, I learned that there are people who can’t have the cancer treatment they want or even become bankrupt because of the eye-opening outrageous cost of cancer drugs.
Comparing two advanced colon cancer medicines, Avastin for $5000 and a new drug, Zaltrap for $11,000 monthly, the program was drawing attention to the astronomic costs of cancer drugs.
Pharmaceutical companies justified the prices saying that these are the results of their enormous efforts of the studies and inventions, but a doctor who was interviewed, revealed a shocking fact that the companies can chose whatever price they like, and pay higher commissions to doctors who sell more expensive drugs regardless of the effects or toxicity of drugs.
The same doctor also blamed the insurance system saying the co-pay of the drugs is too high.
The reporter commented that this whole thing was a rip off, but exactly! Listening to the program, I thought the world is so corrupted and everything is “a monopoly”. Once you become vulnerable, you are taken advantage of and nobody cares.
In 2009, a half year before my diagnoses of cancer, I changed my insurance from PPO to Kaiser – without knowing what was waiting ahead – simply because the monthly payment would be a little cheaper and I wouldn’t need to find doctors by myself. But with Kaiser insurance my co-pays for the drugs turned out to be zero.
If I had stayed in PPO, I would have had so much debt by now. Or probably I would not have been able to continue chemo therapy. The thought makes me horrified and I believe changing the insurance was an amazing kind of God’s guidance (who knew what was coming towards me).
He is the perfect Father and I am deeply thankful for it.