If you’ve noticed your prescription drug prices increasing dramatically over the past several years, you’re not alone.
According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), of 49 common top-selling brand-name drugs, 78% of the drugs that have been available since 2012 have seen an increase in insurer and out-of-pocket costs by more than 50%, and 44% have more than doubled in price.
According to the study’s authors, “High and continually increasing pharmaceutical drug spending is a major health and health policy concern in the United States.”
How to save money on the prescriptions you need
If you’re someone who relies on medicine to keep you relatively healthy or maybe even alive, you might be wondering if there’s anything you can do in the face of these continually rising prices. Here are some of Team Clark’s suggestions:
Shop around for the best price
Consumer Reports found that costs can vary as much as 10 times more at one retailer versus another!
Shop online, but be careful! There are a lot of scammers out there. Make sure your experience is a positive one:
- Avoid websites that don’t require you to have a prescription
- Be very wary if they’ll sell you a prescription in exchange for completing an online questionnaire.
- Ridiculously low prices are a clue that something isn’t right.
- Ask if you can get in touch with a licensed pharmacist who works with the online seller. If you can’t, that’s a bad sign
- Be sure wherever you’re buying from has a physical street address
- Don’t accept any shipments from other countries
- Check that a seller is verified by the National Association of State Boards of Pharmacy (NABP)
- Look for sites ending in .pharmacy as evidence of NABP verification
- Check for VIPPS (Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites) certification, which indicates the seller has passed rigorous vetting by the NABP
Ask for ‘biosimilar’ or generic drugs whenever possible
You could save up to 80% over name brands. Publix offers 90 day supplies of many generics for just $7.50.
Bypass health insurance when it makes sense
Take advantage of pill splitting
Apply for ‘Expanded Access or ‘Compassion Use’ if your situation warrants
This FDA program gives people with serious or life-threatening conditions access to experimental medications. According to the FDA, you may qualify it:
- Patient has a serious disease or condition, or whose life is immediately threatened by their disease or condition
- There is no comparable or satisfactory alternative therapy to diagnose, monitor, or treat the disease or condition
- Patient enrollment in a clinical trial is not possible
- Potential patient benefit justifies the potential risks of treatment
- Providing the investigational medical product will not interfere with investigational trials that could support a medical product’s development or marketing approval for the treatment indication