Feb. 28, 2022

Prescription Drug Prices Continue to Increase in 2022

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Consumers are coping with the increased price of 810 prescription drugs during the first month of 2022. Becker’s Hospital Review reports that 791 of the drugs were branded medications, 19 were generic drugs, 199 were specialty drugs, and 84 were medications administered by healthcare practitioners. Additionally, the increases do not appear to be isolated instances either since they have come from more than 150 different drug manufacturers.

Diving into the price hikes in a little more detail, the cost of brand name prescriptions has increased the most recently. According to KFF, brand names rose at an average annual rate of $12.5 billion per year (8% higher than the year prior) while generics only saw a 1.4% rise over the same period.

Brand name drugs were not the only medications to increase though. Specialty medications, such as drugs used by specialists like neurologists or cardiologists, also increased by 2.7% from to last year.

KFF also expects inflation to continue to affect prices throughout next year. In fact, inflation was expected to raise total prescription costs 9.2% this year. However, consumer spending decreasing has kept some drug prices lower. As a result, we may see even larger spikes in prices if nothing changes.

Consequences of Drug Price Increases

When drugs are marked up, consumers suffer. Just a slight cost increase can make it harder for people to obtain and stay on their prescribed medications. The negative consequences of failing to adhere to the doctor’s orders can result in poor health and increased medical issues.

Consequently, if patients are to recover quickly and efficiently from their illnesses is imperative they are able to afford their prescriptions. The rate of inflation and price hikes we have seen over the last several years has made this more challenging, but patients can take steps to gain more control over their health.

Where is the best place to start? It may feel overwhelming at first, but education is a strong first step. By staying informed about their options, patients can better combat prescription cost increases.

Combating Drug Price Increases with Your Insurance

If you do have health insurance, understanding how to access your prescription plan benefits can be a great way to start and stay on your medications. A quick phone call to your insurance provider could provide answers on how your plan works. This information is vital when trying to find the best price for your prescription. That’s because when drug prices increase, some companies may adjust their formularies to make certain drugs more affordable.

Communicating with your provider can also prevent issues when filling a prescription at the pharmacy. They may be aware of a more cost-effective alternative medication that would be covered by your insurance. Also, if your doctor has prescribed a brand-name drug, consider asking them if a generic version is available. The switch might save you money without affecting how well it treats your condition.

When it comes to your health, the best option is always to follow the advice of your doctor. However, with prices rising, getting information ahead of time makes good sense and can help you feel more prepared when having conversations with them.

How OptionRx Can Help with Your Prescription Drug Costs

Many people in America are under insured or not insured at all. If you don’t have insurance or your plan doesn’t cover certain medications, there are other ways to lower your out of pocket costs. You just need to be creative.

For example, OptionRx can provide information about available copay assistance programs for branded drugs, while connecting you with discounted prices for generic medication. This type of price shopping information is available online or through the OptionRx app.

Visit our website to search for all your prescriptions and find the best pharmacy price. Then, take the coupon to your pharmacy and have the pharmacist apply the discount.

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