Online tool to calculate medication costs
The Bermuda Health Council has created a new online tool to help people get value for money when it comes to prescription drugs.
The resource, aimed at decreasing the cost of drugs, allows the public to look up the suggested total cost for the most commonly used medications in Bermuda.
Tara Hines, BHeC data analyst, said: “We have heard from many of you, especially our most vulnerable, who sometimes have to make the difficult choice to forgo medication.
“We encourage all consumers to look at what they are currently paying for their medications and then use our guidance to see what a fair-market price would look like.
“We are optimistic that continuing this conversation will lead to coverage for prescription drugs, for those who may not have it currently, like those on HIP or who are uninsured, or may not have enough coverage, like seniors on FutureCare.”
Ms Hines added that one of the Health Council’s aims was to increase medication access and affordability “as we know pharmaceuticals are often an important life-improving intervention”.
Ricky Braithwaite, BHeC Director of Health Economics, added: “In economics, perfect information is a feature of perfect competition.
“With perfect information in a market, a consumer like each one of us, would know all of the prices up front, understand the quality of the product we buy in detail and have the data to accurately measure how the purchase is going to affect our quality of life.
“Having perfect competition in healthcare is very hard, but being hard should not stop you from having the information you need to make a choice on how you spend money.
“The goal? Better information leading to better competition and access for all of Bermuda’s residents within the prescription drug market.”
The tool highlights the lowest price per pill or millilitre of a drug and the lowest confirmed pharmacy dispensing fee on-island, $15.
The total cost suggested is found by multiplying the unit price by the number of units needed and then adding the dispensing fee.
The BHeC explained that the list was based on the prescription medications recommended by the World Health Organisation for every country.
It added: “As the Health Council seeks to improve the health system, we will continuously look at how to make healthcare more accessible.
“This includes reducing various consumer costs such as options to reduce one of the largest out-of-pocket costs to Bermuda’s residents, the cost of prescription drugs.
“Through this specific effort, we are providing open information to all consumers about what is available in the pharmaceutical drug market.”
Anyone who has paid more than suggested is encouraged to show the price list to their doctor or pharmacist or to tell the Health Council by calling 292-6420 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The price list can be found at www.bhec.bm/rx
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