If you’ve noticed prescription drug prices increasing dramatically over the past few years, you’re not alone.
The cost of prescription drugs has doubled
According to a study on pricing trends released by the AARP, the average cost of a year’s supply of a prescription drugs doubled to more than $11,000 from the start of the decade. This amounts to about 75% of the average Social Security benefit. The AARP also found — unfortunately — that these price increases will only continue to climb.
“If these trends continue, more and more Americans will simply be unable to afford the medications that they need to get and stay healthy,” said Debra Whitman, AARP’s chief public policy officer.
Some reasons for the increases
Big price increases can happen from a shortage or change in insurance coverage.
Additionally, manufacturers may raise prices because there are no competitors selling the product, according to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. Sometimes of these price increases are partly due to purchases of the drug by other drug companies.
Regardless of the reasons, the increases of drug prices have caused significant strain on many people’s wallets. Here are 15 ways you can save!
15 ways to save on prescriptions
- Check out Clark’s prescription plan guide.
- 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! This video shows you how to do it safely.)
- If you’re on Medicare, check out MedicareDrugSavings.org.
- Check your Medicare Part D eligibility.
- Avoid chain drugstores – shop at mom and pop drugstores instead.
- Ask for a ‘biosimilar’ or a buy a generic whenever possible. Generics are 80-85% cheaper!
- Bypass health insurance when it makes sense. Cash customers sometimes pay less.
- See if there’s an ‘OTC’, over the counter option.
- Use a PBM (pharmacy benefit manager).
- Ask for a 90-day prescription.
- Ask the drugstore if this is the lowest price.
- Use coupons and savings programs. The best way to start: Ask your pharmacist for any coupons that are available.
- Use apps and websites like GoodRx or RetailMeNot Rx Saver (formally Lowest Med) which finds the least expensive price on your prescription near you.
- Apply for ‘Expanded Access’ or ‘Compassion Use’ if your situation warrants.