June 6, 2019

Dr. Callaghan Healthcare Delivery Research Featured in L.A. Times

Recently published in Neurology, Dr. Brian Callaghan (right) contends that neurologists have a duty to their patients to consider financial burdens when prescribing medications.

Noam Levey, Los Angeles Times

As drug prices have skyrocketed and deductibles in job-based coverage have more than tripled in the last 12 years, soaring to an annual average of $1,350, these sick Americans now routinely pay thousands of dollars every year to get care they need. That has made being sick in the U.S. dramatically more expensive.

“It’s really a double whammy,” said Dr. Brian Callaghan, a University of Michigan neurologist who has studied the impact on people with neurological illnesses.

The financial strain is pushing millions of seriously ill Americans to ration their care, jeopardizing their health and even their lives.

In 2016, for example, Americans taking multiple sclerosis medications every month paid on average $3,708 a year out of pocket for the drugs. Patients in high-deductible health plans paid even more, with average annual costs of nearly $8,000, according to a study by Callaghan.