How Price Transparency Caused Patients to Gripe Loudly about the Skyrocketing Cost of Mylan’s EpiPen and Why Clinical Laboratories Should Watch Next Developments

Medical laboratory managers are getting an important lesson in the power of price transparency to motivate patients to complain about arbitrarily high prices for healthcare services and products

By now, most clinical laboratory managers and pathologists know about the EpiPen pricing scandal. Simply said, it illustrates all the flaws and problems in the US healthcare system that make it possible for vendors and providers to raise prices arbitrarily and stick the bill on health insurers, employers, and patients.

However, it was one change in the healthcare system that caused the outrageous pricing strategy of EpiPen’s manufacturer, Mylan Inc., to become national news: price transparency for patients. That change is a result of the increased number of patients who must pay high deductibles and co-pays as a requirement of their health insurance plan. Thus, because tens of millions of patients were forced to pay for most or all of the cost of EpiPens, it was their complaints about the high cost of this device that brought the story to the attention of the national news media. (more…)