Do you find yourself constantly drowning in medical bills no matter how much insurance you get? Do you wonder why the only thing you’re getting from insurance coverage is a higher bill to pay? Is there a higher power controlling the price of medication?
Well, you’re not crazy, and there are reasons for this. Keep reading to discover why medication costs a lot of money and what you can do about it.
Factors Affecting Medication Costs
The costs of medications can vary depending on a number of factors. Some of the most influential factors include the following:
“Pay for Delay” Agreements
Pay-for-delay agreements are arrangements between branded and generic companies that allow for generic entry later than initially expected in return for a payment from the branded company to the generic.
As a result of these agreements, medication costs can be affected due to delayed generic competition and exclusive generic access. When generic competition is delayed, branded medication prices can remain significantly higher than the lower-cost generic versions.
Exclusivity agreements can also cause massive increases in drug prices, as exclusive generic access can lead to the generics not having competitive market prices.
In addition, the branded company may pay a premium to the generic company to delay the generic launch, which can increase the average price of the drug. It is important to note that pay-for-delay agreements can affect not only consumers but smaller companies such as pharmacies as well.
Patent evergreening occurs when a company uses the patent system to extend the life of a patent beyond its original length. This often happens when a company makes minor changes to its product and files for another patent on the updated technology.
The costs associated with medication can thus become subject to evergreening. Companies may add to the patent, preventing generic drugs from entering the market, thereby continuing to charge a high cost for the name-brand medication.
Consumers could thus see a rise in drug prices if the company was successful in its patent evergreening efforts. In addition, there are legal costs associated with patent evergreening, which can add to the cost of the medication.
The impact of patent evergreening on medication cost is significant as it can impact access to treatment with expensive name-brand medication as well as leave consumers with high out-of-pocket costs for the drugs they need.
Marketing and Advertising
Drug companies often use marketing and advertising to promote their products, driving up the costs of medications. Many medications are expensive to produce, market, and advertise, so these costs are added to the medication cost.
Drug companies must also compete with generic options that often have lower costs, so they must market and advertise to make their product appear more appealing and trustworthy than generic options.
Additionally, companies use marketing and advertising to take advantage of people who are vulnerable and unable to discern a drug’s cost or potential side effects.
Furthermore, because drug companies are more likely to advertise expensive medications and those with fewer generic equivalents, consumers are now spending more for medications than ever before due to the cost of marketing and advertising.
Opaque marketplace pricing is becoming increasingly commonplace as a strategy to find lower-cost medications. In an opaque marketplace, healthcare providers, payers, and manufacturers use hidden strategies to reduce the cost of a drug for consumers.
This can be done through different means, such as backroom negotiations or the use of group purchasing organizations. One of the main factors affecting medication costs in an opaque marketplace is the existence of an intermediary.
Intermediaries are able to negotiate the best deals for their clients by combining group purchasing power. The lower the price the intermediary can negotiate, the lower the medication costs for the consumer.
Additionally, other factors such as the brand of medication, the availability of generics, and the existence of discounts and coupons can also affect the cost of a drug in an opaque marketplace.
Quantifying the Expense of Treatments
Medication costs are an important factor in quantifying the expense of treatments. For patients, high medication costs may mean difficulty affording medications that are necessary to treat their condition.
Insurers and healthcare providers must also take this into consideration when recommending treatments or writing out prescriptions.
For the healthcare industry, medication costs are a major factor when determining the cost of a particular treatment and a patient’s overall coverage. Medication costs can also vary greatly based on the condition being treated, the type of drug or combination of drugs being recommended, and potential discounts from distributors and manufacturers of the medications.
Finding Relief from High Prices
Medication costs continue to skyrocket, and it can be difficult for those who need help paying for their medication to keep up. Fortunately, there are steps that can be taken to find relief from high prices.
Doing research into what assistance programs are available to help lower prescription costs. There may also be generic versions of the medication available at a lower cost. Talking to a doctor about alternative medications that might be covered by insurance.
Applying for financial assistance programs or residents with Medicare insurance looking into Part D plans that may help to offset the costs of prescription medications. Discounted medication from pharmacies, coupons, and other resources can also provide relief, although these options won’t be the best for everyone.
Each person’s situation is unique, and taking the time to research and work with healthcare providers or social services is the best way to find relief from high prices.
Key Takeaways on Why Medication Costs a Lot of Money
On why medication costs a lot of money, it is unacceptable and must be addressed. Push for policy alternatives that make drugs more accessible and reduce costs.
Everyone deserves access to the medication they need to maintain and improve their health without breaking the bank. Let’s work together to make sure that happens.
If you want to explore the best topics, we’ve got you covered. Check out some of our other blogs today!