Drug Transparency and Milligram

Transparent is defined in the dictionary as something that can “easily be seen through.”  But first, you have to be able to see the object before being able to see through it.  The price of medications is the object we are trying to see. What Milligram is trying to accomplish is actually something more broad in scope than creating transparency.  Milligram is trying to treat and cure price blindness.  Price blindness is a health condition most Americans suffer from – the inability to see pricing across the landscape of healthcare.

If you go to a gas station, gas might be $2.00 per gallon.  You anticipate that next to the interstate, the gas may be $2.25 per gallon, a variance of 10%. A traveler can see the cost of gasoline on the signs in front of the gas station; the traveler has no idea the pricing of any medication before he hand the prescription to the pharmacist. Still, there is no vision or knowledge of the price of the medication at any competitive pharmacy. That is unfortunate, and ethically wrong, as cash prices for medications can surprisingly range hundreds and even thousandths of percent in difference from pharmacy to pharmacy.

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