On this episode of the podcast, Terry and Bob explain how patients can get relief from high prescription drug costs through independent pharmacies that cut out pharmacy benefit manager middlemen and insurers. They also point out AARP’s conflict of interest. The seniors’ organization lobbies to maintain the unaffordable insurance status quo while also getting payouts from UnitedHealthcare. Bob points out how AARP profits from the current insurance benefit design that hurts seniors. They explain how no one should pay more than $35 per month for insulin when rebates are eliminated. 

Terry and Bob feature Blueberry Pharmacy in Pittsburgh that is forging the path for a new kind of pharmacy. By cutting out the middlemen in the supply chain, Blueberry Pharmacy is able to provide its customers with inexpensive medications. It’s more transparent, and preserves the personal touch of an independent community pharmacy. 

How’s it possible? Founder Kyle McCormick shares how his patients pay such low prices, and what the future of prescription drug access could look like with this model. Kyle explains his cost-plus model that charges fair prices upfront based on a service fee rather than a distortionary cut of list prices. Terry argues that generic drugs are so inexpensive that they shouldn’t even be included in the insurance system. Using insurance for these cheap drugs incentivizes boosting list prices so middlemen can take a cut. Marc Cuban is currently trying to take Kyle’s low-cost model national. 

Legal expert Monica Bryant discusses disability insurance, including SSI and SSDI. She speaks with Terry about what all patients should know about these programs and how to access this insurance. She explains how private coverage interacts with its public counterparts run by the Social Security Association. She highlights how both SSI and SSDI require applicants to have a serious disability, yet it’s possible to be eligible for both programs. She encourages people to go to their Social Security Administration portal to see if they are vested in SSDI should they need it. 

Listen to the Episode