Healthcare is one of the biggest expenses in the United States, and even if you have great insurance coverage, sometimes the cost of prescription drugs is still a tough pill to swallow. However, it turns out that if you’re purchasing your prescriptions from a larger, chain pharmacy, you could be paying between 8 percent to a whopping 840 percent more per prescription. Find out what the most expensive prescription drug in America is.
A new report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Education Fund set out to study the cost of healthcare and why Americans are having such a hard time affording the care they need. The study noted that one in four Americans struggles to afford medication, while four in ten Americans who are in poor health already are struggling to afford their medications, too.
During the research, the group called 250 pharmacies in diverse cities and regions across 11 states to compare prices of medications that combat asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol as well as several other diseases. Pharmacists were asked the price of medications for those who were uninsured or had high deductible plans.
According to the study, it turns out that purchasing your prescription drugs from a small, local, and/or independent pharmacy could save you a significant amount of money annually. This is only one of 18 secrets your health insurance company may be keeping from you.
“People are not aware that they can get their medication for less at another pharmacy,” Amy Compton-Phillips, MD, executive vice president and chief clinical officer at Providence St. Joseph Health, recently told the website Healthline in regards to the study’s findings. “There’s a lack of transparency with the cost of drugs—it’s not published anywhere in a way that’s digestible to the average human being.”
The study also stated that there are several other ways to bring down the cost of prescription drugs, besides choosing a smaller pharmacy. These include:
- checking the manufacturer’s website for coupons
- comparison shopping amongst other pharmacies
- switching to a generic medication from a brand (as long as your doctor agrees)
- ordering prescription drugs by mail
- asking to pay the cash price instead of the insurance price, as sometimes the cash price is actually cheaper
“If we don’t make meaningful reforms, patients will continue to pay higher prices while not becoming any healthier,” the study noted. “They will make choices to forego or ration medication, with serious consequences.” But luckily, you can always ask these 16 questions that can save you money on medication.