When it comes to fighting Covid 19, there are many options available, but doctors are divided about using them. While some doctors continue to use medications like Ivermectin, others disapprove of it as there are no clinical trials done on this drug.
Insurance Coverage Available For Unproven Covid Drug Ivermectin
There is no evidence that this medication works to treat Covid patients effectively. Even in this situation, several insurance companies have offered coverage for using this medication.
According to recent research done by reputed universities, the insurance companies paid close to 70% of the cost of ivermectin medication during the early part of 2021. in this way, the companies spend close to $37 for every prescription given by the doctors.
This is a lot of money because there is no evidence to show that the medication works for this situation. As per estimates, the insurance companies will be shelling out more than $100 million per year on such medicines.
The insurance companies usually do not offer cover for such treatments when there is no proof that it works. In such cases, they ask the patients to pay for the medication themselves while the companies cover the other expenses.
Many experts are of the opinion that insurers should ask the doctors to take prior authorization before prescribing such medication so that the cost can be covered in the insurance plan.
There was not much demand for such medication before the pandemic. As per data from the CDC, less than 4000 prescriptions were given for Ivermectin every week in the US before the Covid situation.
Even doctors are of the opinion that insurance companies should not pay for such medication unless it is proved that they work well against Covid 19.
It is interesting to note that even the WHO and FDA have not approved Ivermectin. They have clearly mentioned that it has to be used only in clinical studies and not as a regular medication for Covid 19.
Other than Covid infection, Ivermectin is used for parasitic infection. However, during the pandemic, many doctors prescribed this medication to treat Covid 19 symptoms in many patients.
The cost per prescription is more than $50, and insurance companies cover nearly 70% of this in their plans. The patients pay for the remaining amount, and this system subsidizes a medication that FDA does not actually approve.
Interestingly, several insurers have not stopped paying for Covid treatment after the vaccines became readily available. In this way, they are trying to reduce their burden to some extent. However, it is strange that they still continue to cover medications that are not approved by the FDA.
In this regard, doctors want the insurance companies to treat such medications as unauthorized and stop subsidizing them. Providing such concessions will only encourage some doctors to continue prescribing the medication for covid patients.
Even the pharmacist groups have asked to stop using Ivermectin for treating covid patients. There is no clear evidence that this medication works effectively; doctors should not use it for covid treatment. However, there is no clarity among the medical community about the effectiveness of this medication as few of them believe that it can counter some symptoms of Covid 19.
While vaccines are readily available, there is still a shortage of medications approved by the FDA to treat covid patients. In most cases, doctors treat the individual symptoms with generic medicines that are actually made for other illnesses.
The health system should develop standard guidelines for using authorized medication to treat covid patients in the future. In this way, it will benefit everyone in the system.