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How a Summer Camp Snakebite Became a Medical Bill / Boing Boing



Last July, a nine-year-old child named Oakley Yoder was bitten by a poisonous snake during a summer camp in Jackson Falls, Ill. The first bill for her treatment was $ 142,938.

Much of it was in the air for the air ambulance: $ 55,577.64. The largest item on the bill, however, was $ 67,957 for four ampoules of antivenin from British pharmaceutical monopoly BTG Plc, whose product Crofab is available in the US for $ 3,198 (a Mexican rival that can not legally be imported into the US costs $ 200 / Dose.

The St. Vincent Evansville Hospital marked its equivalent (already 16,000% from $ 200 to $ 3,198) to $ 16,989.25, another 500% – that's 85 times the price paid by Yoder and its insurer in Mexico would have.

The family insurer, IU Health Plans, negotiated the total price at $ 107,863.33, and an additional insurance plan the family had completed for the camp cost $ 7,286.34 in additional costs. The family did not have to pay anything (but every insured person will pay slightly more in future premiums to ensure that IU and its competitors remain highly profitable).

The FDA has since approved another Mexican antivenin product called Anavip, which is available for $ 1,220. The product's market entry into the US market was delayed by six years on the grounds of a claim by the monopoly firm BTG Plc, whose settlement has contributed to the high price of Anavip, which now includes a royalty paid to BTG for each vial sold the BTG patent expires in 2028.

There is growing momentum for potential state action on drug prices. Various proposals have been made in the states and in Congress, including allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, to tie the US price of expensive medicines to the average price in other developed countries, and to enable the government to compete with the market to bring any – such. For example, accelerating the approval of generic medicines or authorizing imports from other countries.

Summer Bummer: Snakebite for a Young Camper $ 142,938 [Shots/All Things Considered]

( on Naked Capitalism )

( Image: St Vincent Evansville / Facebook )

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Cory Doctorow

I write books. My latest ones are: a YA graphic novel called In Real Life (with Jen Wang); a non-fiction art and internet book titled "Information will not be free": Laws for the Internet Age (with introductions by Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer) and a YA sci-fi novel "Homeland" (the sequel to Little Brother) , I speak everywhere and I twitter and also stagger.

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