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Why Do Prescription Drug Prices Keep Rising?

It is no surprise that prescription drug prices are incredibly expensive and many people have trouble affording these medications which they require monthly. Increased drug pricing can spell disaster for providers who lose business if patient’s have poor adherance to prescriptions their doctors have offered them.

One way to combat this is to offer as many generic medications for purchase. If you read our last post, we discussed how many generic medications are cheaper than their brand name counterparts and offer up the same effectiveness.

Unfortunately, this is not a solution for everyone. There are many medications that do not yet have a generic version. This translates to very steep costs as drug manufacturers already keep the cost of the drug high to recoup as much of their losses for developing the drug in the first place. Once the patent runs out, a generic version can be made, but until then manufacturers would like to make as much as possible.

However, that alone does not explain why prescription drug prices keep rising.

Why Are Prescription Drugs So Expensive?

Healthcare spending is inextricably linked to the cost of prescription medications. For many Americans who rely on these various medications to treat chronic conditions, it presents itself as a serious consideration into their budget where the choice between making rent, paying bills can supersede the medical care they require and deserve. A great example is insulin, a wholly necessary drug for type 1 diabetics to live, has almost quadrupled in price.

An important thing to consider with many of these price increases is the fact that it far outpaces anything like inflation or changes in industry, changes in production and manufacturing, etc. So what’s the reason for the increases?

1 – No Competition For Drug Companies

As we mentioned, many brand name prescription medications are patent protected for many years before a generic competitor can enter the market. Just because a patent expires, does not mean the company just gives away their research. There is also many underhanded tactics and lobbying that independent drug manufacturers have done to prevent other companies from cutting in.

2 – PBM’s Are Just a Part of the System

Ordinarily competition drives down prices, and the pharmaceuticals market is fiercely competitive, so what’s the deal? Well, many of these benefits are simply not being conferred down to the consumer level. Prices for drugs go up, but the discounts go to the PBM’s through rebates and other forms of compensation.

PBM’s sometimes get a bad rap because of the often large rebates they receive from drug companies, but their purchasing power which allots them those rebates is also what allows them to negotiate lower prices for drugs.

One of the reasons A-S Medication’s dispensing solutions are so valued by our clients is that we confer these benefits all the way down the supply chain to you, the provider, who can then reduce or eliminate costs for your customers—no matter which type of pharmacy you are operating.

3 – Drug Prices Have Limited Regulation

Imagine how your patients feel when looking at prices for drugs they’ve been told they need.

Your eyeballs would pop out of your head if the prices of vacuum cleaners increased 5-10x their amount from a decade ago. What’s in it? How can it cost so much if the features have largely remained the same? We intuitively understand that there is a huge gap between what is feasibly costs to manufacture the vacuum vs what we are being asked to pay for it. However, with prescription medications, it’s not entirely clear what they cost to make and if the prices are justified.

This lack of transparency and understanding allows drug manufacturers to essentially make the cost of medication whatever they would like it to be. Having generic medications puts the necessary pressure on manufacturers to lower costs.

Custom Medication Dispensing Programs

Our highly talented team consists of account managers, CSM’s, and clinical pharmacists that understand the pharmaceutical industry and the supply chain it so desperately relies on. Through this knowledge we can provide all levels of support and program optimization.

We accomplish our mission of providing custom dispensing solutions in a convenient and easy to utilize manner. A custom medication dispensing program can help your customers reduce or eliminate their out of pocket costs by focusing on the areas which they need the most.

Packaging medications in ready to use prescription containers, offering user-friendly software to ensure compliance and efficiency, and negotiating the nation’s largest portfolio of insurance contracts are just a few of the things A-S Medication Solutions does to offer the best medication dispensing services.

Contact A-S Medication Solutions if you have any questions about our programs or services.

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The Benefits of Onsite Medication Dispensing for Urgent Care Facilities

Patient prescription medication adherence can be quite poor in many circumstances. Primary non-adherence, or a situation where a prescription is never initiated or filled at a pharmacy, is the main cause of non-adherence. Much of it has to do with patient profiles. In the case of Urgent Care facilities, these are often patients who require prescription drugs sooner rather than later. Because of this, our Urgent Care onsite medication dispensing is an ideal solution that works for both providers as well as patients.

What are Urgent Care Facilities for?

If you live in a relatively populous area, you have most likely seen several Urgent Care medical facilities popping up in shopping plazas and other convenient areas nearby you. Surprisingly, many people do not know what these facilities are for and how they differ from a hospital or clinic.

The concept of going to the ER, or Emergency Room is a familiar one. However, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that healthcare in America is incredibly expensive for reasons beyond the scope of this article. Nonetheless, a visit to the ER can be expensive and it is difficult for patients to assess in the moment of injury or illness whether they should

onsite medication

onsite medication

Urgent Care facilities are like an in-between for a clinic and the Emergency Room. If you have an issue that you feel cannot wait but is likely not severe enough to warrant an ER visit, Urgent Care is a place you can go to.

An example of such conditions are:

  • A fever or flu
  • Potential tendon or ligament tears/muscular sprains
  • Unidentified skin rashes or potential infections
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Accidents and falls
  • Non-life-threatening cuts which may require stitches
  • Breathing difficulties

As you can see, many of these conditions will require some form of medicinal intervention in the form of pain relief, antibiotics, or other such standard prescriptions.

Consider then, the person that must drive themselves to an Urgent Care facility only to have to visit a pharmacy afterwards—while they are ill or injured, to get their prescription filled. It is a miserable experience and it delays the administration of medical care.

Who Benefits from Onsite Medication Dispensing?

In-office medication dispensing benefits both parties. The Urgent Care benefits from programs our turnkey onsite solution because we offer a simple program that will improve the physician and patient experience, as well as the experience of administrative workers.

The administrative bloat in the healthcare world is well known. The thicket of regulations, compliance demands, insurance verification, and general paperwork that must be filed for each patient eats up a lot of time.

On top of this, having to deal with pharmacies and go back and forth on behalf of patients can be a time-consuming ordeal. ASM’s onsite dispensing solutions can cut out the middleman and allow physicians to administer a full-healthcare regimen to their patients without pause.

This not only improves patient outcomes because they can begin therapy sooner, but it also introduces additional revenue for the Urgent Care facility as well. Of the 50 states, 46 of them currently allow for onsite dispensing by a physician.

Onsite Dispensing Prevents Being Undercut by Pharmacies

Many retail pharmacies have opted to increase their influence by allowing small clinics and providers to be on-site so that they too can dispense medication at the point of diagnosis. The bottom line is convenience and access, two things AS Meds provides with our onsite dispensing solutions.

Onsite Prescription Dispensing Solution

ASM offers competitive pricing through our cost-effective program so that both you—and thus your patients will be able to save money. The ability for onsite dispensing to save time for your patients, physicians, and administrative staff means that your office will be able to become more time-efficient and thus comfortably process more patients per day which will lead to revenue growth.

Receiving healthcare is already an uncomfortable and tedious process for most people, being able to visit an Urgent Care facility and quickly receive aid from diagnosis to prescription all in one location will guarantee repeat business.

For more information on our onsite dispensing program, contact us today!

A-S Medication Solutions Coronavirus Update

We cannot give enough praise to the medical professionals who courageously continue to work during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are proud to provide our medications to help support patient care and help relieve some of the strain on the American healthcare system.

In solidarity with the healthcare workers on the frontlines, we at A-S Medication Solutions promise to uphold our mission to strengthen caregivers by providing point-of-care treatment solutions that improve patient health, lower costs, and enhance revenue streams.  As such, our business will remain active, and we will persist in providing the highest quality services.

coronavirus

coronavirus

How Onsite Dispensing Can Assist with Social Distancing

We recognize that it is still of great importance that individuals self-isolate to cease the spread of COVID-19.  In order to promote self-isolation, we at A-S Medication Solutions would like to highlight our services that decrease patients’ time away from home.

Onsite physician dispensing at clinics is an excellent way to promote social distancing because it allows clinics and providers to directly dispense medications to patients during office appointments.  This means that patients are more effectively able to self-isolate because they do not need to travel to a retail pharmacy to obtain necessary treatments.

Along with onsite physician dispensing, A-S Medication Solutions also offers mail order services through Sav-Rx Pharmacy.  The use of this mail order program is a great way to encourage self-isolation because it allows patients to conveniently receive their medications in the mail.

coronavirus

When services like these are implemented, clinics and providers not only gain a second stream of revenue but also actively help “flatten the curve” by giving their patients the means to successfully self-isolate.

In this time when hospitals and clinics everywhere are becoming inundated with patients, it is important to find and provide the means to curtail this overflow.  A-S Medication Solutions has many of the necessary tools and services, and we are committed to providing them to everyone in need. 

We thank both our clients and our employees for their tireless dedication to helping patients.