It’s no secret that our country has a significant concern with rising prescription costs and is “worrisome given the recent escalation in their use in America.”
As stated below: “From 1999 to 2012, the number of American adults using prescription drugs rose to 59 percent from 51 percent, and those who took five or more medications increased to 15 percent from 8.2 percent.”
To help offset this trend, consumers can greatly benefit from a prescription search tool that allows members find the healthiest prescription and pharmacy options for their budget. By empowering consumers with the knowledge to get what they need at the lowest cost and with the fewest obstacles, consumers can capitalize on the savings offered by generic and mail order equivalents.
Attention, buyers of prescription drugs, and I know there are millions out there, like me, who are frustrated with the maddening obstacles to obtaining prescribed medications with your insurance.
My doctor calls the system byzantine, and a rip-off that does not allow the government, including Medicare, to negotiate costs with drug companies, instead allowing them to charge whatever they think the market will bear.
“Escalating drug prices have alarmed physicians and the American public and led to calls for government price controls,” Peter J. Neumann and Joshua T. Cohen of Tufts University Medical Center wrote last week in The New England Journal of Medicine. Most companies maintain that drug prices should be be based on research, development and production costs, but Dr. Neumann and Dr. Cohen suggested that drug prices should reflect the value they provide, considering such factors as health benefits and cost-effectiveness.
The rising cost of prescription drugs is especially worrisome given the recent escalation in their use in America.
Elizabeth D. Kantor, an epidemiologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and colleagues recently reported in JAMA that from 1999 to 2012, the number of American adults using prescription drugs rose to 59 percent from 51 percent, and those who took five or more medications increased to 15 percent from 8.2 percent. The increases, which occurred in 11 classes of drugs, persisted even when the rising age of the population was considered.
The researchers arrived at their numbers by analyzing seven cycles of the National Health and Nutrition Survey, each involving personal interviews with thousands of adults. Americans today are using more drugs than ever to lower cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar, treat depression and pain, control acid reflux and breathing problems, and relax muscles.
Noting that “most of the drugs are used to treat metabolic syndrome,” Dr. Kantor said in an interview that the findings “raise the question of how much the rise in obesity is affecting increased drug use. As obesity continues to rise and people develop the consequences, it remains to be seen how effective drugs are in treating them.”
Using medications to treat what is primarily a consequence of unhealthy living habits means rising drug costs that neither the government nor the public can control.
Unfortunately, it is likely to take an act of Congress to change the current system, so we’re all stuck with it for some time to come, perhaps indefinitely. Within the system, however, it pays to know how to get what you need at the lowest cost and with the fewest hassles.
Every drug insurer has its own annually issued “formulary” — a booklet listing the drugs it will cover during the year and the required co-pay. Some policies also have large deductibles that force consumers to shell out hundreds of dollars each January for needed medications.
It is not unusual for consumers to need a new drug that doesn’t happen to be in their insurance company’s formulary, though the insurer must cover it until the end of the year, when policy holders may be able to switch to a different insurer. (People who obtain medical and drug insurance through an employer-funded health plan are most likely stuck with those plans.) Furthermore, companies change their formularies each year, adding drugs or, more likely, deleting ones previously covered. Read the entire story here
Click here to learn how we are making consumers aware of less costly prescription alternatives through Zipari’s Prescription Search.