Why do my prescriptions cost so much?

I had a goal of one post per week (in 2015) but it looks like I am hitting more like one per month. Right now I am multitasking during the superbowl. This is only the second Seahawks game I have watched this season, the other game was their loss to the Cowboys. Hence, I decided that my viewing might be bad luck and decided to put my attention elsewhere.

This post isn’t directly related to skin, but hits very close to home as many skin medications have become RIDICULOUSLY expensive. These are generic medications that were $10-$20 copays last year, now they are $200-300! This makes my job really hard. Some of the worst offenders are topical creams for treating acne and rosacea, sometimes I can’t find a single medication that is affordable. Please believe me, the high cost of medications frustrates me as much as you. I have no incentive to prescribe any particular medication, I only prescribe the best medication for you (and try to prescribe the cheapest). So why are medications so expensive? Here are a few reasons and some tips to beat the high costs.

  1. There is no regulation in the generic (medication) marketplace. It is a supply and demand market. If only one pharmaceutical company is making a generic then the cost will go up. This can make the price of a historically inexpensive medication skyrocket.
  2. Pharmaceutical companies have deals with insurance companies. Sort of like preferred providers (which doctors you can see) but the deals with the drug makers are really hard to figure out and they can change at the drop of a hat.

SIDEBAR: my lack of attention to the Superbowl paid off- we tied it up. I think I should leave the venue and go shopping, for the good of all.

  1. Pharmacies charge different prices. Yes, really. There can be $100 difference between the price you pay at Safeway versus Target. I don’t know whether this difference is the profit they make or it is due to different costs of purchasing. But they are not all the same.

So what can you do? I have only a few minutes before Katy Perry takes the stage and I am going to watch that, so here it is.

GoodRx. Ask your doctor to print your prescription and then enter the medication and your zipcode on this website (goodrx.com) and BOOM = cheapest price! They will often have a printable coupon as well. This website works, use it.

I hope these tips and tricks will help you find the most affordable medication. If you know of other tricks please comment below! Now off to watch Katy Perry.

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