If you’ve ever skipped taking a medication because of the cost, you’re not alone. Recent research found that 44% of people did not purchase at least one prescribed medication because of the cost. Not surprisingly, those who are older and those who have chronic conditions pay more out of pocket for medications.
If you have a chronic illness requiring regular medication, are elderly, or simply are concerned about the cost of prescription drugs, read on. We’ve got the information you need about what to expect about the future of pharmacy prices.
President Biden’s Plan
One of the priorities of the Biden administration is to try to reduce prescription drug costs. To do this, the White House has issued a plan to address the cost of prescriptions and has asked Congress to act as well.
- Some of the things included in this plan are:
- Allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices (this is currently prohibited by law)
- Penalties for companies who raise their prices faster than inflation (there is currently no prohibition or consequences for doing this)
- Importing lower-cost drugs from Canada and working to create the same low-cost prescriptions in the US
Increase of Specialty Drugs
Specialty drugs require special handling and administration. Your insurance company may also need to provide a pre-approval before your prescription can be filled. They are often biologics, which are drugs that are derived from living cells and are injected or infused.
Conditions like cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, hepatitis C, HIV, and psoriasis often require specialty drugs. These are becoming more and more popular and at the same time, more and more expensive. As more specialty drugs are created and prescribed, they will continue to make up a larger percentage of drugs prescribed in the US.
How to Save Money
If you are spending a considerable amount of money each month on your prescription drugs, you should take advantage of coupons, prescription cards, and be sure you do a pharmacy price comparison before purchasing anything, especially specialty or other expensive drugs.
Another way to save money is to stick with generic drugs. Most manufacturers set prices in January and July. In 2021, brand-name drugs were most likely to experience a price increase while most generic drugs, especially the most commonly prescribed medications, did not see a price increase.
If your doctor prescribes a brand-name drug, discuss with the pharmacist whether a generic drug will achieve the same results. Many insurance companies require the generic unless there is a reason for the brand name.
Pharmacy Prices Will Continue to Rise Without Biden’s Plan
Without President Biden’s plan to stabilize and reduce prescription drug costs, pharmacy prices will likely continue to rise. Without regulation and penalty for large increases, drug companies are in the business to make a profit and will do so by raising prices.
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