Environmental Protection

Tangling with one of these can be doubly painful.

Scorpion Stings Doubly Painful

People in Arizona who are unfortunate enough to be stung by a scorpion are suffering twice because of the high cost of antivenom to treat them, according to The Arizona Republic, which reports one victim was billed $83,046 after she received two doses of Anascorp antivenom in June.

The Chandler Regional Medical Center billed that amount, and the woman's insurer, Humana, paid $57,509 of the bill. She was then charged for the remainder and ultimately settled the charges with the hospital, the newspaper's Ken Alltucker reported Sept. 20.

After the newspaper reported the original charges, the hospital reduced the price of a dose of antivenom from $39,652 to $8,000, according to his report, which noted other hospitals in the area charge $7,950 to $21,875 per dose.

Anascorp is made in Mexico -– where it's priced far lower -– and sold in the United States by Rare Disease Therapeutics, based in Tennessee, according to his report, which said a medical science liaison at RDT attributed the high U.S. cost to FDA requirements, testing, and fees that exceed Mexican requirements.

Even with the reductions, it's still an exorbitant price to pay in more ways than one for anyone who tangles with these small and common predators, which have occupied this planet for at least 400 million years.

Posted by Jerry Laws on Sep 21, 2012 at 12:43 PM


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