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Re: [IP] Medicare, pumps and costs

Don't go and get all rational on me! No seriously, I don't buy it. The 
initial costs have been offset by corporate welfare, healthcare grants, 
etc and were by far paid for by the earlier models in research and 
development dollars.

Take minimed for example. Each "model" has had only minor upgrades to 
it's design, technologically speaking. In fact, many of those upgrades 
could have been made to software alone. In most cases, we are talking 
logarithm not electronic changes except for the 502 to 506 according to 
Medtronics own website. It doesn't say but I would venture to guess the 
511 also came with some electronic changes. It hasn't hardly cost the 
company anything for each subsequent model. I bet if you lay those 
printed circuit board side by side they are practically identical. They 
only major difference (in a manufacturing sense) is the outside case. 
What it costs in retooling a blow mold for thermoplastics is less than a 
tenth of percent of total budget. I know people in plastics and blow 
molds are pretty cheap. The biggest expense in retooling for a new model 
would be for 3D design and testing for reliability etc of new infusion 
sets. But then again the company is making back their money in groves by 
selling new sets to people at again a huge mark up every month.

Do I expect that the mark up should be the same as that for Apple 
products. No. You are right there should be a much much higher standard 
of reliability etc. The question is how much profit should people be 
making off of other people's health problems? My answer, biomedical 
engineer's should make a nice standard of living, more so than your 
average guy. But not some know-nothing/do-little CEO who makes millions 
in bonus's a year. Just take a look at what current Medtronic's CEO, 
Omar Ishrak, made in 2012. 

Take a look at what they paid in severance to the previous CEO and what 
the other leaders in the company made. Their stockholder's aren't making 
out too bad either. 

(Dang, I should've bought their stock! Maybe I could afford a pump then.)

Now ask yourself, is that ethical when your a medical device company and 
people are in desperate health without insurance cant afford your 
product? Does it justify the price or the profit of the company when 
insurance pays for it? If it does, does that mean people who can afford 
insurance, their live's are more valuable than others?

Not asking for an argument, just hoping you and others will think about 
the ethics of it all. Maybe you will agree with me. ;) If not, that's ok 
too. Above all, I really hope that people start to demand that health 
care companies can no longer charge these kinds of fees for things, 
whatever their views are.


On 12/11/2013 9:33 PM, Richard Price wrote:
>   True, pumps probably cost much less, like if they are made in China for
 > example. However there is a huge basic cost that must be rectified in order
> make pumps initially available. That cost is what it costs to design and
> engineer them to meet acceptable standards. Every pump sold includes a
 > Portion of the initial cost which is extra high because of the higher
> that must be met for medical use.
> Richard
> On Dec 11, 2013, at 7:10 PM, SomeoneSomewhere <email @ redacted> wrote:
 > > I didn't want to hijack the other thread so I changed the title some. I
> that is ok.
 > > This may offend some. It is not my intention to do so. I just need to vent
> and rant. Please do not take any of this personally. It is not aimed at any
 > single person that's part of why I changed the subject. But I wanted people
> know what made me think of this.. not that it just came out of thin air.
 > > I was just telling my neighbor this this other day... you know it probably
> costs them less than $50 to make insulin pumps in China. To minimize the
> argument against how much it costs to make each unit, let's say it costs them
> $500. How is it that they can mark them up to $5000 or $10,000 and sell them?
> Sadly, they resell these things and make a profit over again. Even Apple,
 > probably the worst offender of consumer markups, doesn't get that much! How
 > it that Medicare, or any insurance pays them? Don't get me wrong, I am glad
> insurance does pay for them, we need them. It begs the question though, where
 > are consumer groups, consumer protection agencies or even the government
> this is price gouging and you can not get away with it?
>> Just having a moment, ignore me if you need to. :)
>> Louree
>> .
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