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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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Are Generic Medications Just as Good as Brand Name?

In the ever-expanding world of medications and their subsequent brands, consumers are often at odds with whether to pay extra for brand name medications or to go generic. Many people swear up and down that generic is just as good as brand name, but if that’s true, why do people continue to buy brand name drugs. Is it advertising, or is there truly a benefit to the brand?

Brand Name vs Generic Medications

But are they worth it?

Most consumers would tell you no, but many consumers also abide by the mentality that branded medications are somehow more reputable or worthwhile/potent. However, once you understand how the basic lifecycle of medication research and development works, you will see why:

  1. These medications are so expensive
  2. Generic is cheaper

Developing a new medication is an expensive proposition for any company. A lot goes into not only researching a drug and arriving at the intended effects, but it must be as safe as possible to not only receive FDA approval but gain public traction. We’ve all seen television commercials for medications with an almost comedically long list of side effects, many of these medications do not survive the market for long and their makers go bankrupt.

Because creating these drugs are so expensive, manufacturers patent the drugs they create and can sell them exclusively for a period of time. It is in this period of time they hope to recoup much of the costs of developing the drugs in the first place. The current length of time for a newly patented drug is 20 years.

This is predominantly why the cost of the medication is significantly higher. When the patent expires, generic versions of the drugs are allowed to be marketed and sold.

These generic versions are—as many of you may have guessed, just as potent as their brand name counterparts. The only exception to this are some medications that are highly dose-dependent such as thyroid medication (levothyroxine), where it has been shown that brand name varieties (Synthroid) are better at maintaining a euthyroid state. This is because even slight mcg differences in doses can have noticeable effects on patients as our bodies are very sensitive to thyroid hormones. However, it is also important to note that many people use generic levothyroxine to sufficient effect.

For the vast majority of medications, they are in practice, the same.

A-S Meds On Site Dispensing Solutions

Part of our services is providing the necessary logistics expertise to repackage pharmaceuticals and deliver them on time to businesses. Our web-based dispensing system lies at the heart of this timely delivery—which is crucial in getting medications to customers on time.

If you read our blog about repackaging, you’ll know that the incredibly large pharmaceuticals industry relies on having pharmaceutical repackagers such as AS Meds to function appropriately. The United States is a fairly large country with a high demand for various drugs, getting these medications to their respective locations requires many companies offering supply chain support.

In the case of AS Meds, we proudly provide and repackage many generic medicines because they are extremely cost-effective and just as potent as their brand name counterparts. We are happy to be a part of many companies achieving a better generic utilization rate for their patients.

In an age of ballooning healthcare and prescription medication costs, this allows us to provide pharmacies and other medical businesses that dispense medication to do so at an affordable rate to their patients while also expanding their profit margins.

For more information on our medication dispensing solutions, contact us today!

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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.

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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.

box diagram of PHARMACEUTICAL WHOLESALER

3 Things a Quality Pharmaceutical Wholesaler Can Do

Pharmaceutical wholesalers and redistributors play an important role when it comes to delivering medications and packaging them for efficiency and speed. Even if you’ve done orders for a pharmacy or your local pharmaceutical establishment, you may not be entirely sure how the chain operates. That’s okay! The pharmaceutical distribution and supply chain is a behemoth of logistics. Here are 3 things a quality pharmaceutical wholesaler will provide your clinic or pharmaceutical business.

Pharmaceutical Wholesaler

Pharmaceutical Wholesaler

A Highly Efficient Supply Chain

If there were no wholesalers or redistributors, it would cost the US Healthcare system approximately $33-$53 billion each year. A huge reason for this is because the entire redistribution and wholesale industry has grown without the support or intervention of US Healthcare system. Meaning that all of the subsequent technologies surrounding highly advanced and complex logistics solutions was something they did not have to foot the bill for, it was merely the cost to stay competitive for wholesalers and redistributors.

The end result of that competition is a highly efficient and advanced supply chain which products move quickly through.

Helps Prevent Counterfeits From Reaching Shelves

A properly licensed wholesaler and repackager will have good standing with the FDA. For instance, A-S Medication Solutions is a verified accredited wholesaler distributor (VAWD), therefore the facilities under our management have the proper licenses that guarantee that we employ the proper protocols for handling and security. This ensures our clients get their orders in a way that is timely but more importantly safe.

Due to the nature of primary wholesalers and secondary wholesalers in the supply chain, it becomes much more riskier when there are drug shortages and secondary wholesalers tap into what’s known as the “gray market” to buy drugs for cheaper—often from other countries and take advantage of profit margins from obtaining them and reselling back in the US. We work with trusted vendors in the industry which is why many of our clients feel comfortable ordering from us.

Good Wholesalers Are Flexible

A good wholesaler can help places such as pharmacies receive their orders not only in a timely fashion but also receive medications with proper packaging and convenient, ready to use containers can save pharmacy technicians and pharmacists a great deal of time filling prescriptions.

This extra time and labor leads to savings which can give pharmacies a lot more flexibility in putting that revenue where it can help the business and customers best.

Another situation that is not thought of by those who aren’t in the industry is that during emergencies and disasters some medication shipments take a greater priority than others. Those who are suffering from illnesses or conditions that require daily medication to keep severe consequences at bay must not be let down during emergency situations.

Best Drug Wholesaler

A-S Meds is a national pharmaceutical wholesaler and redistributor with a proven track record. We are a verified accredited wholesaler distributor (VAWD). We are in good standing with the Food and Drug Administration in regards to our operations as well as our contributions to helping keep counterfeit drugs out of the supply chain to protect consumers.

Contact us today if you have any questions about our operations or ordering process.