Do Prescription Drugs have to be so Expensive?

by Tony Elam

I know medication is a necessity for good health. Well, a car is a necessity for your commute to work. Do you have to drive the $50,000 Cadillac? Won’t a $5,000 Honda get you there? You are going to get to work no matter which car your drive.  To get your blood pressure down to 120/80, you can take the latest expensive medication daily for $90 a month or you can take the older, established, reliable drug twice a day for $10 a month.  Either way, you are going to get there.

You need a house to live in, but you don’t need to live in a mansion.  A 1500 square foot track house is suitable for most families. I bet the house you grew up in would feel quite small if you visited it today.  If you have to get your cholesterol down, you can take the $130 a month statin. On the other hand, moderate diet and exercise, combined with some simple cost cutting techniques, can cut this cost by 75% easily.

When you go out to a restaurant to eat, is it always money is no option? Do you sometimes pick the restaurant based on cost of the meal? Why can’t you pick your medications this way? Why isn’t there a chart available somewhere, like a menu, which lists the medications that all work the same way and their costs? You can then pick the medication you want based on price since they all work basically the same way anyway.

What if you carpooled?  Wouldn’t that cut your gas costs?

Doesn’t proper maintenance on your car actually cost less in the long run because it lasts longer?

If you used coupons, wouldn’t that cut your food bill?  Turning off lights, adjusting the thermostat, installing insulation, and using ceiling fans all cut your energy bill. Why can’t we use similar techniques to lower our prescription costs?

As a pharmacist, I realize how difficult it is to afford the ever increasing price of medication. Over the last several years I have researched many different and unique ways to help in this area.  I will admit, these techniques are not as easy as adjusting your thermostat. It takes a little time, a little effort, and a little cooperation from your doctor. Work through it; put the ideas to use, and work with your doctor.

You can do it. When you are done, calculate your monthly savings and you will see it was all  worth it.

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