Generic medications have long been known to be the cheaper alternative for those people struggling with the cost of medication. Generic medications have come about with the expiration of brand name patents, allowing many drug companies to produce generic medications that are every bit as effective as their brand name counterparts at a fraction of the cost. However, the tides are turning and some generic medications are becoming more and more expensive, making the once affordable alternatives out of reach for some people who simply cannot afford the cost.
Cause of Generic Prices Going Up
Supply and demand most certainly plays a role in the increase in generic drug prices, with those medications that are in high demand winning the prize for the most significant prices hikes. However, perhaps the biggest cause of the rise in prescription drug costs is the number of mergers going on in the pharmaceutical industry. Smaller companies are being swallowed up by larger companies at an astonishing rate, meaning there is less competition for the manufacture and sale of drugs, including generic medications. One example of a generic medication that has increased in price is the drug Doxycycline, which is used to treat lime disease. Doxycycline prices have skyrocketed in recent months, with the price of 100 mg pills increasing by more than 6,000%! Digoxin, used to treat congestive heart failure, is another drug that has seen significant price increases since there are now only three companies that manufacture the drug. Other drugs that have experienced significant price increases include Levothyroxine, use to treat an underactive thyroid, and Prednisolone, which is a steroid that is used to treat rashes, allergies, and arthritis.
Pharmacies Trying to Help
Pharmacists loath to see what is happening as they watch helplessly while generic drug prices increase. They are also horrified at what is happening to their customers, people who are struggling to afford their medication. Many pharmacies are trying to absorb the cost of the higher prices as much as possible, decreasing the financial burden for those who need their medication. Of course, this means many pharmacies are seeing lower profits and it may force some smaller pharmacies out of business.
How to Protect Your Wallet
Many doctors are unaware that the cost of some generic drugs has increased so drastically. They think they are doing their patients a favor by prescribing these alternatives to the brand name medications. If you have been prescribed a generic drug that has turned out to be very expensive, then tell your doctor. Perhaps there is a cheaper alternative. The hope is there that is the demand for these high-priced medications will bring other drug manufacturers into the game, increasing the number of companies producing the drug. This will help lower costs. However, that will take a long time, so for now people have to work with their doctor and pharmacist to find the most affordable solution available.
A solution that you can put into action right now is by using the free “cost-comparison” engine, eDrugSearch.com. Since 2006 eDrugSearch.com has been safely helping uninsured and under-insured Americans get safe access to affordable medications from a licensed online pharmacy — usually saving anywhere from 50-85% off U.S. retail prices.40