Even if you haven’t taken ivermectin for Covid-19, you may still have to pay for it. A study detailed in a recently published research letter JAMA It is estimated that Ivermectin prescriptions cost private and Medicare plans over $2.49 million in the week of August 13, 2021 alone. And if insurers see costs, they certainly won’t keep them to themselves. Instead, they will pass it on. Guess who ends up paying for such expenses? Well, go to the bathroom, turn on the light, look straight in the mirror and point your finger forward to find your answer. Saying the word “sucker” would be optional. Therefore, when people take an antiparasitic drug to prevent or treat Covid-19, even though there is no scientific evidence of such use, it is not just their problem. It’s your problem too.
Here’s a tweet from JAMA to study:
The team that conducted the study consisted of two faculty members from the University of Michigan School of Medicine (Kao-Ping Chua, MD, PhD, an assistant professor, and Nora V. Becker, MD, PhD, also an assistant professor) and Rena M. Conti , PhD, Associate Professor at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. They used data from the IQVIA PharMetrics Plus for Academics database, which included a sample of five million privately insured patients and 1.2 million Medicare Advantage patients in the United States. Note that this was not a random or nationally representative sample, but a purposeful sample. That doesn’t mean the sample was found in a supermarket. Instead, it was just a sample of people who happened to be in the database. This sample consisted of a higher proportion of people from the Midwest and a lower proportion of people from the South than you would expect if the sample were truly random and representative of the United States. So take any findings with a pinch of salt.
They searched the database for all oral ivermectin prescriptions. Of course, ivermectin has its established legitimate uses. Spoiler alert, this does not currently include Covid-19. Some people need ivermectin to treat parasitic infections such as intestinal strongyloidiasis and onchocerciasis. Therefore, the team ruled out all prescriptions for those that had a diagnostic code for such parasitic infections. Approximately 88,000 ivermectin prescriptions were filled in the week of August 13, 2021. Not surprisingly, there was no explosion of intestinal strongyloidiasis and onchocerciasis this week. Only around 3,600 prescriptions this week appeared to be linked to parasitic infections. So the rest was presumably for Covid-19.
The team then calculated how much was being spent on such prescriptions and how much insurers might have to cover by looking at 5,591 of those ivermectin prescriptions. Most (84.1%) of these prescriptions were for patients with private insurance. On average, the patients were 51.8 years old. During the selected week, privately insured patients spent an average of $22.48 out of pocket on ivermectin, with insurers reimbursed $35.75 for a total cost of $58.23 (including expenses and reimbursement). Those on Medicare Advantage spent $13.78, with Medicare Advantage reimbursed $39.13 for a total cost of $52.91. Total spend at the time was $273,681.00 for privately insured patients, 61.4% of which were insurance reimbursements, and $47,142.81 for Medicare Advantage patients, of which 74.0% were reimbursed.
Extrapolating these costs to the entire US resulted in a total cost of $1,568,996.00 for private insurers and $924,720.16 for Medicare Advantage for ivermectin prescriptions for Covid-19 for the week of August 13. This adds up to $2,493,716.16 for the week. This is not an insignificant amount of money. To put it in perspective, that’s well over 830,000 pieces of avocado toast, depending on what else is on the toast. That’s also over 2.9 million rolls of toilet paper, the good kind that doesn’t fall apart with use. Extrapolating the total cost for a week to a full year was an estimated $129. 6 million. You could build multiple toilet paper forts with that amount.
Of course, the amount could be paid for other things besides toilet paper forts, such as: B. real legitimate treatments for conditions like back pain, as Chua tweeted: