Prescription Drug Pricing at Thai Hospitals

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fountainhall
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Prescription Drug Pricing at Thai Hospitals

Post by fountainhall » Mon Feb 18, 2019 5:46 pm

I have long realised that the pharmacies in Thai hospitals overcharge like crazy. There is one prescription medication I occasionally require. If I happen to be in Hong Kong, all I do is call my doctor's practice there, request a repeat prescription and then collect it within an hour or so. The cost of the 30 tablets by the original overseas maker is HK$150 (Bt. 600) and there is no charge for the doctor making the prescription.

If I have to get it at Bumrungrad in Bangkok as I did this afternoon, the charge for 30 tablets of the Thai-made derivative is Bt. 2,160 to which a doctor's fee of Bt. 500 is added. So in Thailand it is 443% more expensive! Than Hong Kong?? It's a total rip off.

Unfortunately this medication is not available at outside pharmacies and so I am stuck with the pricing. The good news is that last month the Cabinet agreed a plan to control the prices of medical supplies and services in private hospitals. The bad news is that the price of medicine and drugs is already controlled!

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Trongpai
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Re: Prescription Drug Pricing at Thai Hospitals

Post by Trongpai » Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:49 pm

Here is one example from personal experience. Co-Diovan 80mg box of 40 Novartis Drugs a common blood pressure drug, Bumrungrad 2,400B. At Chula Bassa Pharmacy on Rama 4, 840B and there's a generic called Co-Tareg 80mg for 450B. The 2,4000 is just the Bumrungrad pharmancy charge, add to it 1000-1500 for a doctor fee, 350 for the hospital fee and 200B for a nursing fee.

I ask the doctors at Bumrungrad to write down the name of the drug and not place an order to the hospital pharmacy. I have yet to not find the prescribed drug at Chula Bassa.

I don't have much hope for this government panel or whatever in controlling pricing in private hospitals. I was recently admitted for two days and the itemized bill had 2000B for food. All I had was clear soup. The private room cost 17,000 per day--5 years ago the same room was 7000B per day including food. Interesting an MRI cost 34,000 5 years and still cost the same now.

I'm really not complaining and I'm quite satisfied with the quality of care at Bumrungrad.

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Gaybutton
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Re: Prescription Drug Pricing at Thai Hospitals

Post by Gaybutton » Tue Feb 19, 2019 4:27 am

Coincidentally, the following article was published today. I don't see anything new. However, the fact that you can opt to buy prescription meds elsewhere doesn't necessarily mean those meds are available elsewhere. It doesn't help very much if a doctor prescribes something, but no pharmacies other than the hospital pharmacy carries it. I suppose you could try to see if outside pharmacies carry whatever it is under a generic name or if it is a refillable prescription, see if your pharmacy can order it for you. If not, I guess you're stuck with the hospital prices.
________________________________________________

Private hospital patients ‘free to buy medicines outside’

February 19, 2019

Patients at private hospitals have the right to buy medicines elsewhere after getting a prescription from their doctors, according to the Health Service Support Department (HSSD).

The department, however, has no plans to force private hospitals to inform their patients of this right through announcements in their facilities.

“Patients have long had the right to buy medicines outside hospitals,” HSSD director-general Dr Nattawuth Prasertsiripong said yesterday.

He was speaking publicly in order to downplay speculation that the latest resolution from the Medical Facilities Committee (MFC) could make it impossible for patients to produce a prescription and get their needed medicine from drug stores.

Last Thursday, MFC ruled that medicines be treated as among the medical services that doctors must take responsibility for.

While MFC has recognised that patients have the right to buy medicines from outside hospitals, it has also absolved private hospitals of having to put up on-site announcements informing their patients of this right.

Nattawuth said his department would forward the resolution to a subcommittee established under the Committee on Product and Service Prices with the mission to prepare measures related to price control over medicines and medical-services.

Overcharging

The committee has assigned relevant organisations to gather opinions on price-control measures. Among these organisations are the HSSD, the National Institute for Emergency Medicine and Thai General Insurance Association.

“Between 60 and 70 per cent of patients at private hospitals are health-insurance policyholders,” Nattawuth said.

According to him, just two per cent of complaints about private hospitals that the HSSD had received last year were about high prices.

Many non-governmental organisations have long complained about perceived overcharging by private hospitals. In one extreme case, a medical bill exceeded Bt23 million.

“There are many complaints about medical-service fees. In one extreme case, the bill exceeded Bt23 million. A surgeon, for example, charges about Bt170,000 per operation,” Foundation for Consumers secretary-general Saree Ongsomwang said recently.

Nattawuth said the HSSD, for its part, was responsible for ensuring that medical facilities provided a good standard of services.

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/ ... l/30364347

Bangkokian
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Re: Prescription Drug Pricing at Thai Hospitals

Post by Bangkokian » Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:26 pm

Trongpai wrote:Here is one example from personal experience. Co-Diovan 80mg box of 40 Novartis Drugs a common blood pressure drug, Bumrungrad 2,400B. At Chula Bassa Pharmacy on Rama 4, 840B and there's a generic called Co-Tareg 80mg for 450B.
Trongpai, do you mean Chula Bhesaj Drug Store on Rama 4 Road?
If so that is where I buy all my monthly medications for a fraction of the price at BCH.
They have changed it bit now, having a big blue lightbox outside with 'CHULA MD' on it.
And inside you go, as before, to order your medication on the left hand side, but then go to the right hand side of the shop to pay, then further down on the right hand side to pick them up.
Very efficient -- it takes only about twice the time as before ;-)

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Trongpai
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Re: Prescription Drug Pricing at Thai Hospitals

Post by Trongpai » Tue Feb 19, 2019 3:13 pm

Yes, you're correct the sign and receipt now reads CHULA MD. Same owner, new name. Rama 4 just before Suriwong right at the Rama 4 foot bridge.

I rather like the new set up, counter one, two, three: order, pay and check and package. I have found that you have to watch them at counter one that they get the correct drug at the correct strength. They're very busy and can make mistakes. I make a list and pass it to them.

Bangkokian
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Re: Prescription Drug Pricing at Thai Hospitals

Post by Bangkokian » Thu Feb 21, 2019 1:54 pm

Trongpai wrote: I make a list and pass it to them.
Yes I do the same and hold it looking helpless and one of the assistants will take pity on the poor farang and serve me (it can get very busy in there).
An alternative is to photograph an old package and show them your phone.
We often pronounce the names of drugs perfectly (or not) but they may have a different pronunciation and not understand.

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