The average monthly cost of insulin in the U.S., including generics, can range from $50 with prescription coverage to over $1,000 without. Largely applicable across many medications, this type of cost disparity underscores the importance of maintaining appropriate health coverage for those who already have it. But as a pharmacist and healthcare professional, I am more concerned about those with inadequate, heavily restricted or no health coverage: the people standing in line at the pharmacy with tears and desperation in eyes that are darting between their medication, their basket of groceries and their children.
At the recent HIMSS conference in Helsinki, the breadth of digital solutions promising to transform healthcare was prodigious. What is also sadly evident for any seasoned observer of the sector is that the pace of change remains incredibly slow, and while digital tools have enabled many sectors to do more with less, healthcare remains largely beholden to Baumol's cost disease.