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The cost of prescriptions is the fastest rising cost in healthcare today. Cigna estimates annual trend at over 15% with no sign of slowing down. There are several reasons this is happening: direct to consumer advertising, specialty drugs that were not available in the past, extreme price increases from the manufacturers and lack of knowing your options.
Just speaking from personal experience when a doctor prescribes a medicine for a specific condition, I generally don't question that decision. Or at least I didn't in the past. The problem I am beginning to understand is doctors have no idea what one medicine costs vs. another and a drug representative is only telling why their medicine is the best. The truth is, for many medical conditions there are numerous different medications that will effectively treat the condition for prices that vary greatly.
How do you find out what options there are and at what cost?
This is what has helped me and many of our clients - GoodRx www.goodrx.com is a website with not only great information about every medication, it will show you actual costs from drug stores in your area. A disclaimer here is these prices will be different based on your insurance plan but it will give you a very good idea.
Coupons, there are many coupons that you can use even if you have health insurance. This will save you real money.
Knowing the cost of the medicine before you leave the doctors office. GoodRx has an app you can download to your smartphone to see the cost of the medicines the doctor is prescribing for you so you can ask "is there another medicine I can use that does not cost as much?" I have done this on many occasions and have never had a doctor not try to save me money.
Another great use of this app is to lookup the cost of the medicines continually advertised on TV. This will give you a much better understanding of why health insurance costs so much. This advertising works! Doctors don't have time to educate you about why an older, lower cost Medlicine will be as effective for you. Unfortunately, it's easier to let you try this new, latest, greatest and very expensive medicine rather than risk losing a patient.
Increasing prescription costs is a real problem in the cost of health insurance today. By becoming aware and shopping smartly we can all make a difference.
Thanks for reading, have a great day!