Rx Costs on the Rise. Considerations for the Savvy Consumer.
If you’ve been to the pharmacy this year, you’ve probably seen an increase in the cost of your monthly medications. You’re not the only one who is bearing the weight of a higher RX bill.
Due to an increased aging population and high use in specialty drugs, the cost of prescriptions has increased in the last 15 years and will continue to do so. According to a Kaiser study, the rising costs of prescriptions will exceed the growth rate of hospital care and other healthcare services from now until 2019 and recent studies show that Rx Costs are the #1 contributor to the rising cost of healthcare!
Since January 1st of this year several drugs have moved from a Tier I to Tier II status (Preferred to Non-Preferred) or the price has just simply increased due to popularity and demand. The need to consider moving to a generic to contain costs when available is more important than ever as the monthly pharmacy bill is unsustainable for many Americans. If name brands are necessary, Costco, Sam’s and Wal-Mart typically fare the cheapest. You do not need to be a member of Costco or Sam’s in order to use their pharmacy.
Another approach is to research holistic or “homemade” remedies. My husband has had a skin disorder or “rash” for several years. After a handful of visits to the dermatologist, leaving with a pricy prescription order each time, we found that an organic apple cider remedy has resolved the issue – all for under $4 for a product that will last longer than a month. Not to mention the benefits in removing the additional drugs and topical treatments from his body which cause other side effects. While there may not be a homemade remedy for all ailments, consumers must be more accountable than ever to create ways to cut back on medical expenses, particularly when it comes to RX.
Nearly all major carriers have an RX tool available online to registered members. Log in to check the costs of name brand drugs and generics available. Another online benefit is to view a list of pharmacies in your area of drug name and cost. Consider moving your prescription down the road if it will save you money.
Medicare participants may be able to participate in ways to save on prescription costs due to a new law. Please visit http://www.ssa.gov/prescriptionhelp/ to see if you qualify.
Take a moment to look at your RX inventory. Can you switch to a generic? Can you look for an alternate remedy to remove the need for the pricy drug? Ten minutes of research could save you money for items you would enjoy purchasing and remember lower drug cost could mean lower rate increases on your health insurance!