Have your pharmacy bills been going up? When Consumer Reports surveyed its readers, 30 percent of them reported that their cost for a drug they take on a regular basis rose during 2019. About 12 percent of readers said their costs had soared by at least $100. What is going on here, and how can you save money on medicines that you need?
An article in the January issue of Consumer Reports points out that there are no laws or regulations that would cap drug prices. Manufacturers get to charge whatever they think they can make. Until recently, most consumers had no idea how much their medicines cost, because they owed only a modest copay. Now, though, many insurance companies are demanding that patients pay more, possibly as much as 20 to 30 percent of the retail price. That can add up fast when a drug costs hundreds or thousands of dollars a month.
We spoke with the author of the article, Lisa Gill, about how you can save money on medicines. She shared plenty of good ideas you won’t want to miss. It makes sense to ask your doctor how much the treatment will cost. Sometimes a nonprescription medication will work nearly as well as the prescription your doctor is about to write. However, the physician may not be fully aware of the price.
Another option you may not have considered is negotiating with the pharmacist. Sometimes paying cash, without using your insurance, results in a lower bill.
We are certain that our listeners have also found plenty of ways to make their medicines more affordable. Email us or call in your suggestions Saturday, January 25, 2020, between 7 and 8 am EST. The number is 888-472-3366. Be sure to listen, as you may hear some ideas on saving money that you hadn’t considered before.
Lisa Gill is deputy content editor of Best Buy Drugs for Consumer Reports. The website is www.consumerreports.org/cro/health/prescription-drugs/best-buy-drugs/index.htm
You may also find our eGuide to Saving Money on Medicines of interest.