While many public health officials are excited about the Gardasil's potential to prevent cervical cancer, doctors are increasingly refusing to offer it to patients--including the pediatricians and gynecologists who are its most likely prescribers. These doctors say that reimbursements for the expensive vaccine are not high enough to justify the stocking and administrative costs of carrying it. For example, some insurance companies are reimbursing doctors $122 per shot, or just $2 more than doctors pay for the vaccine. Other health plans, meanwhile, are actually paying less than the vaccine costs. As a result, some doctors are writing prescriptions to be filled at a pharmacy rather than providing the vaccine themselves. This may force patients to pay for Gardasil out of pocket, as many health plans only pay for vaccines administered by physicians. The struggle over costs could make it difficult for some parents to comply with state laws requiring parents to get their girls the vaccine before entering school.
To learn more about the Gardasil issue:
- read this article from The Washington Post