We hear a lot in the news about the cost of prescription drug prices in the U.S, and rightly so. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for prescription drugs are 20.88% higher in 2022 versus 2012 (a $20.88 difference in value).[i]
Overall, prescription drug spending in the U.S. rose from $257 billion to $348.4 billion. While much of this increase is due to the development of new drugs, rising drug prices across the board have caused most of the prescription drug cost increases.
On the Horizon
Consumers are most familiar with discount drug programs offered through their health plans. In addition to these are several stand-alone discount drug programs anyone can join, including GoodRx, WellRx, SingleCare, RxSaver, Blink Health, and Optum Perks. The most recent additions to the discount prescription drugs scene are Amazon Prime and Mark Cuban’s online Cost Plus Drug Company, costplusdrugs.com.
Promise of Relief
It just takes a few loud voices to start a revolution. And that is what seems to be happening as more startups join the ranks of those trying to reduce prescription drug costs.
Case in point Civica Rx founded in 2018. According to a recently published announcement on CNN:
“Civica Rx, a non-profit generic drug maker backed by hospitals, insurers and philanthropies, announced Thursday that it plans to manufacture and sell insulin for no more than $30 a vial. It is expected to be available as soon as early 2024, pending federal approval.”[ii]
In his March 1, 2022 State of the Union speech, President Biden restated his dedication to cutting the cost of prescription drugs such as insulin and “letting Medicare negotiate lower prices for prescription drugs, like the VA already does.”[iii]
In the Meantime
While we wait for legislation to pass and new buying outlets to become available, consumers must continue to be vocal in their fight for fair pricing on all prescription drugs. We’re not quite there yet, but there is hope.
About the Author
Judy Bezler has served businesses and individuals for over 25 years. Always telling it as she sees it, her areas of expertise include health insurance, life insurance, and disability income protection. You can reach her directly at (704) 559-9323 or simply click below.
[i] Between 2012 and 2022: Prescription drugs experienced an average inflation rate of 1.91% per year. In other words, prescription drugs costing $100 in the year 2012 would cost $120.88 in 2022 for an equivalent purchase. Compared to the overall inflation rate of 2.05% during this same period, inflation for prescription drugs was lower.