The High Cost of Medications: Why Are Prescription Drug Prices Increasing?

For those who are dependent on regular prescription medication to manage health issues, the rising cost of medications can be an increasing financial burden.

About one in four people report that it’s difficult to afford medications. The problem with affordability increases for people with ongoing health issues and senior citizens.

With better technology and advancements in treatments, why does it cost more to treat health issues with prescription drugs? Let’s look at the cost of medications and what goes into what you pay for your drugs.

Lack of Competition

For many name-brand drugs, a lack of competition means pharmaceutical companies can control the medication cost.

Competition drives down costs for most products. However, many successful prescription medications have patents to protect from competition.

Your specialty medication is expensive because other pharmaceutical companies can’t replicate what works best about the drug—without violating patents. Without competition or generic versions of your much-needed meds, your drug prices will continue rising.

Lack of Transparency

When you fill a prescription and pay for it, are you only paying for the medication? The pricing of medications often includes more than just the cost of the medication.

Insurance companies also benefit from drug sales. They work with pharmaceutical companies behind the scenes to determine the pricing for prescription medications. As much as drug companies develop medicines to help treat illnesses to help people feel better or live longer, they also make money off of the drugs you need.

However, when you look at the bill for your meds, you won’t see an itemized list of what creates the cost to you. You’ll only notice if the final cost to you is higher than it was before.

Plenty of Demand

Drug prices 2019 continue to rise because people still need medications.

Many expensive medications help treat chronic diseases that have no cures, like diabetes and asthma. When drug companies have a “captive” audience that needs their drugs, increasing the costs puts more money in their pockets.

Despite the life-saving and life-changing nature of many prescription medications for the patients who need them, the drug industry is a for-profit business.

What Can You Do?

You do have options when buying medication.

  • Shop elsewhere. Many prescription medications are cheaper outside of the U.S. Visit this website to see if your medications are less expensive through a Canadian pharmacy.
  • Request the generic. Most pharmacies will automatically offer it, but it never hurts to ask if your name-brand drugs have a cheaper generic version.

Until the government puts more regulations in place to reign in prescription drug prices, it will take some work to save money on your drugs.

Don’t Let the High Cost of Medications Ruin Your Health

It can be a challenge to budget for the high cost of medications. Don’t let prices keep you from taking the drugs you need. Find lower-cost options and work with your doctors for alternative treatments.

Was this article helpful? Be sure you check out some of the other blogs in our Health section!

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