Week in Review: Vaccine Myth Busters Edition

Christian Clymer
Christian Clymer February 13, 2015

Week in Review: Vaccine Myth Busters Edition.

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VaccinesThe internet provides us with a wealth of information right at our fingertips, but it’s important to be mindful of misinformation, especially as it pertains to your health. With myths and facts swirling about important health topics this week, we cut through the clutter to bring you the facts.

Vaccines are once again in the headlines due in large part to polarizing misinformation. The measles outbreak has resulted in a discussion about the importance of immunization. While some parents have decided not to immunize their children due to a misrepresentation of facts, in reality, vaccines have a long history of helping to protect communities from unnecessary illnesses. Thanks to vaccines, 10 infectious diseases, including polio and smallpox, have been at least 90 percent eradicated and diseases such as hepatitis A and B can be prevented. To set the record straight about immunization, we asked experts: What can the lessons of measles teach us about the importance of vaccines? Read their responses in our Conversations forum, and share your thoughts. 

We also addressed misinformation regarding the future costs of specialty medicines this week. According to a new report, future spending on specialty medicines has been overstated nearly 10 percentage points by major pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs). While producing precise health care spending forecasts can be challenging due to uncertainties and potential changes, accuracy is vital for payers and policymakers to budget for the future. 

Having health coverage through an exchange may not guarantee access to your medicines. An illuminating report from Avalere Health found an increasing number of exchange plans are putting all treatments for certain chronic diseases on the top tier. This means medicines may be out of reach for patients with conditions like HIV/AIDS and cancer due to extremely high cost-sharing and no other options. This discriminatory practice limits options for patients, forcing them to make a difficult choice between financial security and adherence to their treatment regime. To learn more about the facts to help you make informed decisions for yourself and your family, check out our Access Better Coverage website. 

With so much information at your fingertips, it is important to take the source into consideration. Whenever you need answers about your health be sure to get what you need from reputable academics or organizations. We strive to provide accurate, easy-to-understand facts to help you live longer, healthier lives, and we encourage you to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for real-time updates.

Topics: Vaccines, Affordable Care Act, Health Insurance