Could There Be a Blockchain Solution to High Prescription Drug Prices?

Michael Scott | Bitcoin Magazine | March 28, 2017

Prescription drugs are one of the biggest contributors to soaring healthcare costs in the U.S.  And for both individuals and families, particularly where multiple prescriptions are needed, drug expenses can quickly escalate to thousands of dollars. According to a report from the Kaiser Family Foundation, 8 in 10 Americans would like the government to negotiate prices for those on Medicare. Additionally, Americans want limits set on the amount drug companies can charge for high-cost drugs, such as those to treat cancer.

Brennan BennettPrescription costs for seniors seem to be garnering the most attention. Many on Medicare Part D experience what is known as the “doughnut hole,” a term that’s used to describe a medication coverage gap. All Part D patients begin each year with a deductible amount, which, once hit, triggers coverage for medications. However, when that coverage amount is exhausted, patients begin paying for their medications at the much higher retail rate — often 5 to 10 times the covered costs.

The continued escalation of costs across all stratas of the U.S. population has been a key discussion point in efforts to revamp the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The prevailing message: drugs don’t work if patients can’t afford them. Even President Trump has chimed in, saying that drug companies are “getting away with murder.” And in a speech to Congress that garnered bipartisan support, he said that his administration and Congress should “should work to bring down the artificially high price of drugs and bring them down immediately”...