Average Cost of Prescription Drugs: Prices and How to Save

According to one study, adults who aren’t insured (compared to those who are) are three times more likely to avoid getting the prescription medication that they need.

One reason they avoid getting the medication is the cost of prescription drugs. 

Each year, the cost of prescription drugs has gone up and up, and more and more people aren’t able to afford it.

But what is the average cost of medication? And how can you save some money on them? Keep reading to find out how!

What is the Average Cost?

The average cost that Americans will spend on prescription drugs over the course of one year is about $1,200 per person. These are some of the highest costs anywhere around the world. 

In some cases, drugs to treat cancer can even cost patients up to $10,000 a month, making it almost completely unaffordable for some Americans. 

Why is it Increasing?

Why are these drugs so expensive, and why do they keep getting more expensive? 

One of the main factors is that there is no regulation from the government that keeps these prices in check. Some of the big pharmaceutical leaders who did testify in front of the United States Senate said that the prices were so high because it took billions of dollars to develop new medications. 

With no regulation in place, the companies can charge whatever they want to for a drug. A lot of them buy out smaller or competing companies as well, making themselves the only monopoly for that drug. 

When they are the only place you can buy it from, they can charge as much as they want to. 

However, another reason that the prices keep going up is that insurance isn’t covering as much as it used to. This means that even Americans with insurance have to pay more for their prescription medications because the insurance company only covers a small portion of them.

One reason the insurance companies are covering less is that the medications are getting so expensive. This creates an endless cycle that will never end. 

How to Save on Prescription Drugs

Thankfully, even those these prices can get outrageous, there are a few ways to save on these medications so that you can still get them.

However, if you really don’t think you can find a way to afford it, talk to your doctor or your pharmacist. They may be able to find a way to help you out. 

Ask for a Generic Brand

First, you should ask them if there is a generic brand. Normally, the generic brand medications have the exact same ingredients that the brand name ones do.

This means that you’re really only paying extra for the name of the brand, even though the medication will do the same thing. 

For example, if you get a standard version of a drug to lower your cholesterol, you could only pay $10 for a supply for thirty days. But if you go with the brand name version of Lipitor, you could have to pay $390 for the same medication. 

Ask for a Larger Dose

You may be able to ask if you can get a larger dose or a larger supply as well.

Some medications can be divided which will lengthen the amount of time before you have to pay that money again.  For example, if you buy a 10-milligram pill, then you can split it into five milligrams to lengthen the time you have it. 

However, make sure you ask your doctor before you do this because not every pill can be split. 

You can also ask if you can have a longer supply. If you get your medication for thirty days, ask if you can get it for ninety days instead. Sometimes when you buy more you can get a small discount on it. 

Shop Around

You should also shop around at different pharmacies, including an online pharmacy. You’d be surprised at how different the prices can be. 

Some pharmacies will buy the prescriptions directly from the company, but some people will buy it through a middleman. When they buy it through a middleman, they have to increase their prices in order for them to make a profit. 

However, you should be able to find a pharmacy checker online to see what their advertised prices will be before you get in the car and drive down to pick it up. 

You should also try and go to big-name stores, like Target or Walmart. They generally have generic drugs that they sell for a lot cheaper than the brand name ones. 

Apply for Financial Aid

Lastly, you can always try applying for financial aid. Because of how costly medication can be, there are all kinds of prescription assistance programs.

Both the state and local government will offer programs like these. Nonprofits, drug makers, and even Medicare offers these programs as well. However, you will have to meet some requirements in order to qualify and get assistance.

Learn More About the Cost of Prescription Drugs

These are only a few things to know about the cost of prescription drugs and how to save on them, but there are any more ways you could save as well.

We know that dealing with any medical issue can be really difficult and overwhelming, but we’re here to help you out.

If you enjoyed this article, make sure that you explore our website to find more articles just like this one. 

katy petter

Passionate health content writer dedicated to simplifying complex medical topics and promoting wellness. With expertise in nutrition, fitness, and medical breakthroughs, I create informative and engaging content to empower readers in their journey to better health. Let's inspire a healthier world together.

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