The pain of drug cost can measured by the varying cost of drug prices by 100s of dollars for the same medication.  Its pain is further complicated by the social effects of higher costs from lifestyle to bankruptcy.

The Social Issues of High Cost Medication

For the aging working American, the combination of chronic wage stagnation and increasing living costs, from homes to cars and education, leaves little left on the table.  Add to that any minor or major health complications, health cost may lead to your bankruptcy.  Today, health costs have become the number one cause of bankruptcy in the United States. Bankruptcies from unpaid medical bills affect nearly 2 million people in 2013 outpacing bankruptcies due to credit-card bills or unpaid mortgages. https://www.cnbc.com/id/100840148

Wage Stagnation and Lost Chart

Wage Stagnation and Lost Chart

Source: http://www.epi.org/publication/charting-wage-stagnation/

The Numbers – How Higher Drug Prices Affect Lifestyle

According to a report by QuintilesIMS Holding, US prescription drug spending as high as $610 billion by 2021.  The report found that:

  • Spending on prescription medicines in the U.S. will increase 4% to 7% through 2021.
  • Under pressure from politicians and insurers over the cost of many branded medicines, several drugmakers have pledged to limit annual price hikes to under 10 percent.

Source:  https://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/04/us-prescription-drug-spending-as-high-as-610-billion-by-2021-report.html

Other reports have found that higher drug costs combined with higher out-of-pocket costs, strain household budgets impacting cut backs on groceries or delays in paying bills to pay for prescriptions.  Source:   https://www.consumerreports.org/prescription-drugs/too-many-meds-americas-love-affair-with-prescription-medication/  The chart below illustrates the loss of spending power by category due to higher drug costs:

loss of spending power by category due to higher drug costs

 

Image Source: https://www.consumerreports.org/drugs/cure-for-high-drug-prices/

 

Drug Shopping and The RX Discount Card

NBC recently reported on the variation of drug cost if one spend the time shopping for medication.  It found that a specific drug price can vary from $600.00 to less the $35.00 at the major US Pharmacies.  With other extreme examples, it clearly pays to shop for one’s medications.

To assist the consumer with their drug shopping, there are a number of free discount cards. One of the largest is the WellDyne “WellCard Health” Pharmacy Discount Card offered by LifeSource Direct shown below.  The WellCard is accepted at over 59,000 pharmacies nationwide and includes over 60,000 brand and generic drugs with savings as high as 65%.  Consumers can shop and compare drug prices online at this link: https://lifesourcedirect.com/health-benefits-guide/prescription-savings-card/rx-labratory-imaging-discount-card/rx-drug-discount-pricing/  A pharmacy locator can help consumer find pharmacies local to them at https://lifesourcedirect.com/health-benefits-guide/prescription-savings-card/rx-labratory-imaging-discount-card/pharmacy-locator/ .

RX Discount Card From LifeSource Direct

RX Drug and Pharmacy Discount Card or Coupon

Additional feature include discounts on Doctor Visits, Dental, Vision, Surgical and other medical related services.  A full list can be seen here by clicking here.  For the uninsured or under-insured, it also gives them access to a buying group with negotiated discounts.

Saving money is on everyone’s agenda.  With the increasing high cost of drugs in the US, it pays to shop. And saving money to help ones health is priceless.