Why Does a Medicine in New York Cost 6000% More than in Pennsylvania?

It’s not worth more, it just costs more.

By: Tom Stebbins

In the Sunday, January 8th, Daily News, columnist Beverly Weintraub wrote an article, ‘Anatomy of a Ripoff,’ about her shock at the bill she received from a local hospital for services her son had recently received. One notable number from Ms. Weintraub’s editorial was $6.52.  This was how much a Pennsylvania hospital charged her son for medication that cost $439.90 at hospitals here in New York, a difference of over six thousand percent.  While Ms. Weintraub focused on the confusing billing, an astute reader may wonder why this medication costs so much more in New York than in Pennsylvania.

One of the principal reasons is the cost and fear of litigation.  And in New York we have laws, strongly supported by trial attorneys, that encourage litigation.  For example in New York, if a hospital is found 1% liable for an injury, they can pay 100% of the judgment. The Pennsylvania Legislature recently passed “Fair Share Liability,” fixing this loophole and bringing down the cost of medical care for everyone.  New York should do the same.


One comment

  1. This is unbelievable!!! A medicine is just a medicine!It should not be possible to change price according to state.Allowing the cost to increase in different states could cost lives! People should not have to pay more because of the cost and fear of litigation!!N.Y. needs to address this issue!

    — By Alison Stonbely on January 14, 2012

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