I’m sure you’re aware that prescription drug prices in the U.S. are among the highest in the world, including all other developed countries. Below we’ll take a look at some of the reasons pharmaceutical companies claim they are so high, and a solution that is quickly becoming very popular.
According to Bloomberg, the cost for brand-name prescription drugs for diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and MS, is soaring. In a survey, following an analysis of big-selling drugs, Bloomberg discovered that price increases in the U.S. have outpaced inflation since 2007 for many drug categories.
Potential causes of high Prescription Drug Prices
Although the United States comprises only 5% of the world’s population, it accounts for 36% of world-wide research and development of prescription drugs. The cost to develop drugs is fairly low, but the cost of developing new drugs is quite high. As a result, the U.S. pharmaceutical industry’s cost to develop drugs is disproportionately high when compared to other nations.
According to the drug companies, their high prices are necessary to fund their research initiatives.
Another reason for high Costs
Another reason why pharmaceutical companies claim to charge high prices for their meds is because other countries, such as Canada and India, have price controls for their prescription drugs while the U.S. doesn’t.
So to save money, American citizens buy their drugs from other countries. In an article in the Washington Post, it was reported that “U.S. Customs estimates 10 million U.S. citizens bring in medications at land borders each year.”
There is a better way to solve the problem of high costs for prescription meds than smuggling drugs in from other countries – although it’s not illegal, it may not be patriotically correct.
The solution that is gaining momentum in the United States is drug discount cards, a program that can help anyone save on prescription meds.
How Drug discount Cards help you save on prescription meds
First of all, getting a drug discount card is free. Secondly, they save consumers up to 80 percent off their prescriptions. This is a huge amount of savings, particularly if you need numerous prescriptions because of chronic health problems, or have to take extremely expensive meds.
How Drug discount Cards work
This is the best part for you the consumer, because prescription med cards are so easy to get and use. To get one, all that is required is that you print one directly from companies associated with the prescription assistance network. These companies pre-negotiate medication rates with major pharmacies to give their members the lowest prices available on medication. Printing them is hassle-free because there is no questionnaire to complete, and there are no intrusive questions to ask.
Once you print your card, you take it to any of the more than 63,000 pharmacies. So you don’t have to worry about not having one near you.
When you take your card to the pharmacy, they will input your card number into their computer. This way, you don’t have to show it every time – if you go to the same pharmacy. Each drug has a different discount amount, and the savings range from 20-80%.
Why pharmaceutical Companies like prescription Drug cards
You may wonder why drug companies like them, too, especially when they’re a billion dollar a year industry, and obviously like money.
According to consumer reports, 45% of people under 65 years old without insurance don’t get their prescriptions filled because they can’t afford it. This means drug manufacturers are missing out on potentially millions of dollars every year. Of course, they don’t like that scenario.
Why pharmacies like Drug Discount Cards
Pharmacies gain financially as well when consumers use drug discount cards, because they get a commission from the company issuing the cards that is higher than the commission they get from health insurance companies.
Why department stores like Drug Discount Cards
Department stores with pharmacies such as Wal-Mart like discount cards because, when people go to their store to fill their prescription, they often make other purchases while they’re in the store. From an economical stand, drug discount cards that save on prescription meds are the smartest thing anyone can use to save money in their budget—even if they don’t have to pay for a lot of prescriptions on a regular basis.
This article was written by James Sosa, a healthcare writer, who believes that a Prescription Discount Card offers a win-win situation for both customers and pharmacies.