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Prescription Medications are TOO Expensive!

Have you ever gone to the doctor, and gotten a prescription to help out your eye or other problem? Often times, you will obtain the prescription and rush over to pick it up from the pharmacy, and almost pass out when they give you the price. Previously, sticker shock was mainly with new cars, plumbing repair bills, and college tuition, but prescription drugs seem to present most of the sticker shock recently. As a physician, I have seen many of the drops that I prescribe go up in price precipitously. It used to be just the brand names, but there seem to be more and more generic medications that have also gone up in price. My understanding is that some new regulations have allowed companies to be the exclusive provider of certain generic drugs, and this has contributed to the problem. I wanted to write this article to allow my patients to understand some resources that may be available to help them with this new sticker shock. If you have prescription drug coverage, the first thing to consider is what drugs are on your formulary. Believe it or not, insurance companies will make deals with certain drug manufacturers to have something produced more cheaply for them. They will then put it on the formulary (which is just a list of preferred drugs on various tiers that are covered on by your insurance), and those medicines will be less expensive. I have seen brand name medications occasionally be more inexpensive than the generic medications. Sometimes my electronic medical record software will have this information in it when I prescribe the medicine, but it frequently will not. I encourage patients to call their pharmacy when the price on a prescribed medication is too high, and see if there is anything else on their formulary that would be less expensive and see if the pharmacy will give you a list of several alternative. You can then check back with your doctor and see if they are acceptable. If this does not work, there is a website called I have no affiliation, but it frequently will help tremendously with prescription drug prices. It is very simple; basically, you log on to the website, and type in your medication after putting in your zip code. It will give you the cash rates with the "coupon" that various nearby pharmacies will provide. You just print the coupon, and show it at the pharmacy, and you get that cheaper rate. I frequently see medications that are cheaper through than what you can get through your insurance. For example, prednisolone acetate runs abou $80 to $100 through many insurance plans, and you can get it for about $25 through as of this writing in my area. If this does not work, sometimes medications (especially eye medications) can be made at pharmacies for a cheaper price than getting it through the company or your insurance. These pharmacies have high standards, and the drop is often a more convenient formulation. I hope this article helped, and if you live in Georgetown, Round Rock, Killeen, Cedar Park, or other areas of central Texas or Austin and would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Justin Aaker at Reveal Eye Care & Surgery, please call 512-686-1224.

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