An Australian TikToker shared a video comparing the cost of her ADHD medication in Australia and America, and the difference is jarring, to say the least.
User @esorirb states in the video, which has garnered 1.2 million views since being posted on Thursday, that a month’s supply of her medication, Vyvance, costs $29 in Australia. That same medication costs around $350 in the U.S., depending on which pharmacy one goes to.
“I keep getting this comment that’s like, ‘You don’t have ADHD, they just made this medication and then made up a diagnosis so they could sell it,’ and I was like what the fuck would they do that?” @esorirb says in the video. “It costs me $29 U.S. dollars for a month’s supply of Vyvanse.”
“It’s not a lot of money that they are getting off of me,” the confused TikToker says. “Apparently that’s not what it costs in the U.S.”
In the U.S., drug prices are reportedly loosely regulated, and manufacturers are able to set their prices. In some cases, there is only one manufacturer for a certain drug, and patients are left with no choice but to pay what said manufacture asks for, resulting in higher copays.
In many other countries, medication is seen as a public utility.
“You guys are getting ripped off,” @esorirb said. “Your healthcare system… Jesus.”
Viewers are sharing their experiences with high-cost medications in the comments section of @esorirb’s video.
“My doctor prescribed me with it (Vyvanse) and we went to the pharmacy and it was $500 with insurance and a coupon,” one commenter wrote.
Another said their Crohn’s disease medication costs $13,000 without insurance—just for a month’s supply.
Another user highlighted the nickel-and-dime nature of the U.S. healthcare system. “Ma’am, it costs (money) to have a band aid in the hospital,” @fright.n1ght wrote. “We need help.”
Even with insurance, going to the dentist or doctor can result in a large bill, as noted by user @melodramahs, who shared: “I went to the dentist yesterday with both health and dental insurance, nothing was covered, and the 36 minute visit is $2,330 I now owe.”
Multiple commenters pointed out that most drug manufacturers do provide coupons that can be combined with insurance coverage to reduce the cost of medications. GoodRx, a service that allows users to compare prices at different pharmacies and find coupons, was mentioned frequently among commenters.
A drug frequently mentioned was insulin, which has made headlines recently for its high prices. The drug reportedly retails for up to $390 a vial, and people with Type 1 diabetes need about two or three per month, according to the Washington Post.
“Like I knew it was bad, but I didn’t know it was that bad,” the TikToker says in the video.
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