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Pre-2008 Posts

Plenty of Money for HPV Vaccine; Prices for Birth Control Double and Triple

I can’t say it any better than Lucinda Marshall did in the e-mail I received accompanying this information:

… let me see if I have this straight.  We’re all gung ho to spend $360 to provide HPV vaccine but birth control pills are no longer affordable for those who need them most.  How about a tax on every male in this country for the role they play in travesty?

Millions of college students are suddenly facing sharply higher prices for birth control, prompting concerns among health officials that some will shift to less preferred contraceptives or stop using them altogether.

Prices for oral contraceptives, or birth control pills, are doubling and tripling at student health centers, the result of a complex change in the Medicaid rebate law that essentially ends an incentive for drug companies to provide deep discounts to colleges.

“It’s a tremendous problem for our students because not every student has a platinum card,” said Hugh Jessop, executive director of the health center at Indiana University.

There, he said, women are paying about $22 per month for prescriptions that cost $10 a few months ago. “Some of our students have two jobs, have children,” Jessop said. “To increase this by 100 percent or more overnight, which is what happened, is a huge shock to them and to their system.”

At some schools women could see prices rise several hundred dollars per year.

About 39 percent of undergraduate women use oral contraceptives, according to an estimate by the American College Health Association based on survey data.

Many students could shift to generics but experts said they might still pay twice the previous rate.

“It’s terrible, because these are students who are working very hard to pay for their tuition and books at a time when tuition costs are edging up as well,” said Linda Lekawski, director of the university health center at Texas A&M, where the old price for birth control pills of about $15 per month is expected to triple. “This is one thing they’ve been able to benefit from for years.”

The change is the result of a chain reaction started by a 2005 deficit-reduction bill that focused on Medicaid, the main federal health insurance program for the poor. College health officials say they had little idea the bill would affect them.

Before the change, pharmaceutical companies typically sold drugs at deep discounts to a range of health care providers, including colleges. With contraceptives, one motivation was attracting customers who would stay with their products for years.

Another reason the discounts made business sense was that they didn’t count against the drug makers in a formula calculating rebates they owed states to participate in Medicaid.

But in its 2005 bill — which went into effect in January — Congress changed that. Now the discounts to colleges mean drug manufacturers have to pay more to participate in Medicaid.

The result: Fewer companies are willing to offer discounts.






7 thoughts on “Plenty of Money for HPV Vaccine; Prices for Birth Control Double and Triple

  1. Same old story. 😦

    The more the poor can be made to suffer, the more powerful the non-poor get to feel. And be.

    Posted by Mary Sunshine | March 23, 2007, 6:58 pm
  2. Rape is the most common violent crime on American college campuses today.

    College students are at high risk for sexual assault.

    College students are in one of the most vulnerable age groups for sexual assault.

    In the Rape in America study, over 80% of the women who reported being raped were under 25 years old:

    29.3% were less than 11 years old
    32.3% were between 11 and 17
    22.2% were between 18 and 24
    7.1% were between 25 and 29
    6.1% were older than 29
    3.0% age was not available

    Rape in America: A Report to the Nation,
    National Victim Center, 1992

    The key word above is “reported”. We know that all of those figures would change if every female reported rape and had a working definition of rape .

    Anyone notice that those born male are raping little girls in numbers that are close to the females between the ages of 11 and 17? Males have made little girls under the age of 11 their targets 29.3% of the time? And we all know, again, that many little girls don’t tell, so those numbers are higher.

    Yeah, considering that females need protection and agency over their bodies, it makes sense for the males who own and profit from the pill to dig into financially challenged women’s pockets, deeper, deeper and not even caring or considering what the global repercussions will be.

    Posted by uppitybiscuit | March 23, 2007, 8:29 pm
  3. College students are at high risk for sexual assault.

    That sentence sort of implies that half (or whatever the population of the campus) of the assaults are men as well. Are there enough men being raped on college campuses to make it “college students” instead of female students, women, girls, etc.

    Posted by chasingmoksha | March 23, 2007, 8:33 pm
  4. Here is the definition of rape expanded. It is by no means a complete list.

    Posted by uppitybiscuit | March 23, 2007, 8:55 pm
  5. from the article: “I feel like if an individual’s going to seek it, they’re going to seek it and try to find the resources for it,” said Betsy Henke, student body president at Indiana University.

    Pharmaceutical companies know that women will scramble however they must for their birth control pills.That’s part of why birth control isn’t covered by most insurers in the US, because its indispensability to women means they will continue to buy it while choosing to go without more discretionary medicines.

    Posted by Sam | March 24, 2007, 3:52 am
  6. That’s part of why birth control isn’t covered by most insurers in the US

    But Viagra is.

    And for those men whose insurance doesn’t cover it, Pfizer is jumping through hoops to make sure they can get it affordably.

    Posted by gingermiss | March 24, 2007, 6:34 am
  7. All this BS about birthcontrol is happening, because christians have hi-jacked our government. And don’t think for one minute that big pharma isn’t a big part of it. Teenagers being denied birthcontrol, to rape victims being denied the morning after pill.
    Christians are fighting hard and unfairly because their lies are being exposed and their patriachal belief system is crumbling down all around them. It will get worse before it gets better. The only thing we can do is contact our representatives and demand that planned partenting gets the funds it needs to protect our daughters and ourselves.

    Posted by say no to christ | March 24, 2007, 5:18 pm

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