Yes they are and one big problem this is causing – nearly half of consumers are not taking medications MDs prescribed!
One interesting point about medication costs – what a person pays can vary from one pharmacy to another! A recent survey found:
· About 1/3 would go to a different pharmacy for a $10 savings.
· Almost 70% would change if the savings were between $11 and $25!
Another survey found 67% of people did not fill their prescription because of the high cost.
MDs often do not talk about less expensive alternative medications. One step to help people was recently implemented. A local pharmacy is:
· Now allowed to tell people if the cost of a simple medication is less than the co-pay on their prescription plan.
Then too, I encourage people to ask the pharmacist about less expensive options than the medication on their prescription.
In late February while attending a professional conference in Washington DC Alex Azar the head of CMS (Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services) highlighted to my association members plans to increase transparency in medication prices. This will allow individuals to look for alternatives when they receive a prescription.
In following prescription costs through professional sources I see experts are reporting “real change is coming”. Perhaps not as fast as many would like. Steps such as:
· Working on the total cost of a medical situation by integrating and closely monitoring medical treatment and medications.
· Changing the way prescription delivery is managed.
Want to share another way for people to take advantage of lower costs – the GoodRx discount service:
· When using the medication cost can sometimes be lower than through a person’s prescription plan.
· You can try the service for no cost.
· BTW – the cost of a medication purchased using GoodRx does not get applied as an expense toward a person's medical plan deductible.
John C Parker, RHU, LTCP