Drug Prices in America: 2021

We all have experienced excessive drug prices at one time or another in our lives. Any of our relatives with a debilitating disease understands this and many have tried to figure out how to lower their costs of medications.

As we all know drug prices in America are higher than in any other country. There are many reasons for this but that is not the intent of this blog. This blog is devoted to explaining how to save money on prescription medications.

In recent years for those with insurance, the cost of even generic drugs has risen beyond belief. There are ways to combat this escalation in drug prices and most people are not aware of what or how to do that.

  1. Your current insurance is the first step to obtain medications. However, sometimes those drug prices are excessive, yet most people simply buy their drugs through their insurance anyway.
  2. To be fair, most group plans have reasonable drug prices. Conversely, individual insurance plan drug pricing is excessive in my opinion.
  3. Most Medicare Advantage plans and standalone drug plans for seniors have reasonable drug prices, but it does not hurt to check the cash price to see which is less expensive. 

Most of us must save money where we can because the adage of keeping what we have is important, especially in these times. Seniors with limited incomes are especially vulnerable as they are usually taking several medications.

Consider looking outside your insurance plan for better pricing on medications. The three top choices to do that (not in any order) are GoodRx, Nevada Drug Card, and Singlecare. 

The first order of business is to simply make a list of all the medications you take, including the dosage, and determine if they are brands or generics and on the list show the price you currently pay for that medication.

The rest is simply going to the sites mentioned above and see what the cost of these medications is if you paid cash instead of using your insurance. I always check these three sources for my clients to simplify their options. 

Let us use a common drug like Atorvastatin to illustrate the point.

Atorvastatin 40MG is a generic for Lipitor. Most individual insurance pricing is about $25 for this generic drug.

I found pricing for this medication ranging from $5.77 to $11.95 per month for a 30-day supply. Quite a savings overusing your insurance. This is only one example of the type of savings you can obtain by using your imagination and think outside the box. Sometimes using your insurance is your best option but not always. Check the three sites mentioned above and save money on your medications. Brand name drugs are very expensive and depending upon your insurance the cost could be excessive. 

Also, remember that pharmaceutical companies sometimes offer discount coupons for their medications. Do not be afraid to reach out to them to see if they have discounted coupons for their medications. Many times, they do and seem willing to provide them to the public. Lastly, your doctor sometimes has samples for expensive medications and provides them to their patients. Ask for them.

It will probably be quite a while before our leaders in Congress do something about excessive drug prices so one must be creative to find the best prices for our medications. 

Hope this blog gets you thinking of ways to save money on prescription medications. 

The Barend Agency Inc.

Len Barend, broker




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