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NHS FPX 6008 Assessment 1 Identifying a Local Health Care Economic Issue

Student Name

Capella University

NHS-FPX 6008 Economics and Decision Making in Health Care

Prof. Name

Date

Introduction 

Health economic issues are significant issues that impact the standards of care that are being provided to patients. The current increase in the prices of pharmaceutical drugs from July 2021 to July 2022, while the inflation rate has been 8.5% for the same time, is almost 31.6%; this is one of the major issues in the United States (Affairs (ASPA), 2022). Similarly, the Journal of the American Medical Association has highlighted that the average price of the newly launched drug has increased by 20% from 2008 to 2021 (Rome, et al., 2022).

Thus, this escalating cost for the drug prescription has disproportionately affected low-income and elderly society and people who are in chronic conditions and require medical or drug support to survive. There are stories of senior citizens surviving on pensions complaining about their medication surge and how hard it has become to survive. The current assessment is based on understanding the impact of constantly rising drug prices, with the aim of understanding how much these price surges can impact standards and access to health care.

Rationale for choosing the health-economic issue

The drug companies have often highlighted that high drug prices are important for sustaining innovation, but the ability to charge high prices for new drugs can also slow down the pace of innovation. Other reasons for the increase in the process are the lack of competitive alternatives, the lack of transparency, and higher research costs (Wineinger, et al., 2019).

The rationale of choosing the rising drug issues for the elderly population who are dependent on medication or drugs is based on the understanding that through the government allowances or support many elderly population is given to them and that is given to them and that stipend is the sole base of their livelihood, thus, having constantly increasing pricing of the drugs they take to survive, the standards of care can be potentially compromised, such as they might stop taking medication due to affordability issues, thus leading to medication non-adherence, which in turn can play much economic burden on government as the lack of adherence can lead to major health issues.

Effect of Rising Drug Prices

There is a significant impact of the rising prices of medical drugs on the community, my colleagues, and my own work while working with elderly patients. Such as

  1. My own work. As a practicing nurse, there are often complaints about the dosage of the drug or the constant increase in its price due to its peculiarity of being one of its own kind. Thus, this impacts our working schedules and our meetings such that most time is spent discussing medication affordability, exploring alternative treatment approaches with patients, and educating them about the changes.
  2. Colleagues. They also have to face the same hurdle as doctors and other professionals, as they face challenges in prescribing effective medication due to the patient’s lack of affordability and have to search for alternatives, which potentially impacts their ability to provide optimal care.
  3. Organization. Similarly, the organization may also face challenges in providing quality care due to the rising cost of the prescribed drugs. The higher drug prices may impact budgets, resources, the ability to hire new staff, and investments in technology or services, as sourcing medication is a problem now. Also, the insurance companies may struggle or limit the insurance coverage for medication due to the constant surge in prices.
  4. Community. The impact is even wider in the community, as when an individual struggles to access the drugs, it has an overall negative impact on the public’s health. For example,  communities may have a significant impact on the elderly population because not being able to afford medication can often lead to children sending their elders to old homes, which can impact how the community perceives the significance of care for these individuals and may also perpetuate the existing health inequities within the community.

NHS FPX 6008 Assessment 1 Identifying a Local Health Care Economic Issue

Gap Contributing to the Need to Address the Issue

For many newly developed drugs, there are no alternatives, and even some old medications lack an exact or near-identical medication alternative, due to which they are expensive. The peculiarity of the medication being one of its own kind makes it more expensive (Rajkumar, 2020). Thus, the need to address the issue is to highlight and encourage the pharmaceutical companies to bring more alternatives that can provide medication alternatives within the budget but do not compromise healthcare standards. Along with the monopoly’s peculiar nature, the lack of reforms regarding pricing is another gap that creates the need to address the issues, as the same medical drug can be sold at higher prices at one place while at another it would be much cheaper. The lack of reforms and standard pricing has also encouraged the need to discuss the issue.

Conclusion 

In conclusion, the economic issue of rising prescription drug prices poses a significant challenge for healthcare organizations, communities, and individuals, given the gap in pricing and the peculiarities of the drugs. While the issues of affordability and access remain in question. Thus, by addressing the issue, alternatives and medication opportunities can be created to encourage the patient to maintain their healthcare while keeping it within the budget.

References 

Affairs (ASPA), A. S. for P. (2022, September 30). New HHS Reports Illustrate Potential Positive Impact of Inflation Reduction Act on Prescription Drug Prices. HHS.gov. https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2022/09/30/new-hhs-reports-illustrate-potential-positive-impact-inflation-reduction-act-prescription-drug-prices.html

SUPPORTING PHYSICIANS. STRENGTHENING THEIR VOICE. (n.d.). https://www.ama-assn.org/system/files/2021-ama-annual-report.pdf

Rajkumar, S. V. (2020). The high cost of prescription drugs: Causes and solutions. Blood Cancer Journal10(6). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41408-020-0338-x

Rome, B. N., Egilman, A. C., & Kesselheim, A. S. (2022). Trends in Prescription Drug Launch Prices, 2008-2021. JAMA327(21), 2145. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.2022.5542

Wineinger, N. E., Zhang, Y., & Topol, E. J. (2019). Trends in prices of popular brand-name prescription drugs in the United States. JAMA Network Open2(5), e194791-e194791. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.4791

NHS FPX 6008 Assessment 1 Identifying a Local Health Care Economic Issue