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A version of this story first appeared in D.C. Diagnosis, STAT’s weekly newsletter about the politics and policy of health and medicine. Sign up here to receive it in your inbox.

WASHINGTON — “Most* patients pay between $0 and $5 per month” for Janssen’s drug Stelara, the chart proclaims.

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  • Wow – surprised PFIZER didn’t make the list for cramming LYRICA (Alzheimer’s-in-a-Bottle) down everybody’s throats. For bilat sciatica/spinal stenosis my $20/mo pain med (Tramadol, which worked fine) was dc’d and I was FORCED to take LYRICA copay $100/mo, list price $571.93, which I had to pay full when I fell into “donut hole”. Of course I could not afford so bought only TEN capsules at a time – I suffered for 2 yrs from the nasty side effects and insufficient pain control until I arranged surgery x2 with an out of state neurosurgeon. Weaning off was pure hell; which neither of my docs would help me with. This isn’t just about the money – somebody is reveling about all this INHUMANE TORTURE!

    • Sue, I was told that I had to try Lyrica, and this was before the scandal of the outrageous amount of money that the pharma companies have a hold over the citizens of our nation. I tried Lyrica for about a week and I ended up in hospital with my physician who was furious with the pain wannabe doctor who was supposed to be trained to surgically implant the devices from Medtronic. He is a fraud who has caused significant harm to the patients who have the misfortune to have been recommended by another healthcare practitioner who also benefited from the wannabe surgeon who was an anesthesiologist. Back when the pain clinics were established by anesthesiologists as a cottage industry that required the anesthesiologists to be at Stanford University Hospital where the wannabe surgeon was only present for three times. I know this all too well because I ended up having the thing removed by the neurosurgeon who developed the neurotransmitter for Medtronic. He was so upset about this so called doctor that he told me he never speaks about any of his colleagues, except for the one who ruined my healthy life for the rest of my life. The neurosurgeon asked me why I didn’t come to Stanford rather than the wannabe surgeon who opened his pain clinic in Monterey Bay Peninsula, on the other side near Aptos, CA. And Lyrica was the worst of the drugs that I ever have tried and almost didn’t make it out of hospital alive, because of this wannabe surgeon who also didn’t pay attention in his pharmaceutical courses either! That drug should be banned from being prescribed, in my opinion.

  • Hey Nick,
    Let me bring up a silly question. Shouldn’t the patient know the cost to the pharmacy and what their co-pay will be and not the inflated bogus retail price that means nothing to anybody but
    the PBM who is getting their vig based on this meaningless retail price ?
    I wonder if these drug companies are still getting tax write offs for advertising on T.V. ?
    I guess they are, otherwise why would they do it !!!!
    It’s amazing that everyone knows why drug prices are so high and who is benefiting from these drug rebates ….. EXCEPT OUR LEGISLATURES !!!!! Can someone please tell them !!!!!!!

  • The beauty of free market health insurance

    Both pay the same. Some directly, others indirectly by ever increasing insurance premiums

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