welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Friday, October 27, 2017

alzheimers news-can we afford it

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if someone develops alzheimers disease
they may end up in some type of long term care facility
maybe for a year or two
that was the time my mother and younger brother spent
in those places

at a cost of $60,000-$85,000 a year for two years
equals $120000-$170,000 for just those last two years
of care
then theres care that is paid for up to the point of entry
into the nursing home
that varies based on how sick or how severe their disease is

so for this blog today
lets just use the $170,000 for those two years in the nursing home

my question is
this new drug im taking in the aducanumab study
well its going to be an expensive one
more expensive than the arthritis or ulcerative colitis or
cancer drugs
more in line with the new hepatitis c drug

the prediction is that it will cost someone
$40,000+ a year for these monthly infusions

so if it works or if it just slows down the disease
lets say for 10 years
then that allows the person to die from something else
cancer heart attack or stroke or old age if they are lucky

so i looked at some of the expensive drugs that are listed
by those drug controlling pharmacetical companies that
provide us all with our drug plans

i am on medicare part d drug plan
i have a $400 deductible i have to meet
there is this donut hole thing
that compromise spot the congress made to get the
medicare part d bill passed years ago
my donut hole is around $3,000

after the donut hole there is suppose to be a 5% limit on
how much one has to pay
as usual with these insurance things
it dont really work that way

many of you know this from using your health insurance or
car insurance or prescription insurance or
maybe more like homeowners insurance

so that means i may be on the hook for at least $12,000 a year
or the full $40,000 a year if its not covered at all

so lets see if i can do some math
if i treat myself for 10 years to stay out of the nursing home
ill save maybe $175,000 in nursing home care total
since maybe ill die fast after that ten years is up

ill spend anywhere from $120,000 total for the aducanumab drug
during those 10 years
so if it works ill save someone $50,000 total over that time period

of course
if i pay full price that will be $480,000 for the drug over 10 years

i do have long term care insurance that right now will pay
$160,000 for those two years in the nursing home
that would leave only $15,000 owed to the nursing home folks

if my math is right
it may be cheaper for me to just not get treatment but to just
slide down that alzheimers curve into those last two years
of nursing home care
many of us know how awful those last two years can be

doing my math it looks like i could probably afford to pay
for my aducanumab infusions for 10 years
let my medicare part d pay what it will if it does at all

i guess my life those last 10 years would be more tolerable
for myself and those around me

however if i have to pay full price
i may not be able to afford it
ill just use my long term care insurance instead

the question is
can society afford to pay for this new treatment or not
does society just fit the bill for the nursing home
by society i mean you and the government

tough question
with no answer

oh by the way
biogen and its investors will make billions off this drug
worldwide if it works
can we pay the price
is it worth it

in the mean time lets find a cure

support us at our next walk
donate and or walk at your local walk

santa barbara walk to end alzheimers october 28th

the organicgreen doctor

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