Tag Archives: prescription medication

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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!