Prescription Medicines Are Too Expensive, The Study 2022 Has Shown
Surely you are familiar with this situation: you go to the doctor, get a prescription, take it to the pharmacy and get a bill that terrifies you. There are drugs that cost hundreds of dollars, and even the fact that part of the amount is covered by insurance does not save you.
“In the US, it’s just unique that we’re allowing pharmaceutical companies to set their own prices almost on their own,” says Andrew Mulcahy, senior researcher at RAND Corporation.
US patients cannot afford their medications
Americans spend, on average, about $1,200 a year on prescription drugs, according to the latest data. This is more than in other developed countries.
A 2022 survey showed that three out of 10 US adults do not take prescribed medications at all, precisely because of their cost. Many Americans even have to take loans to afford medication. Thus, last year 3 out of 10 customers took out payday loans online same day Georgia to pay for medical services or medications. People prefer this lending option because these loans are the easiest to access as borrower requirements are relaxed. Approval rates reach 95% and funds are transferred to the borrower’s bank account instantly. Another advantage is that loan amounts are small and usually range between $100 and $1,000, which is usually enough to cover medical urgent expenses.
This situation has been one of the main problems in the US for many years. And every time the new government tries to somehow solve it. But things are moving so slowly that private companies have decided to step in.
Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug, a Texas company funded by billionaire Mark Cuban, has decided to manufacture its own drugs. They want to get rid of the many middlemen by buying medicines directly from pharmaceutical companies and selling them at close to cost.
The company is also building a facility in Dallas where it will be able to manufacture drugs from scratch. The opening is expected next year.
“We are trying to get around this cartel of intermediaries who drive up prices. And the money we save will go to people who really need it,” says Alex Oshmyansky, founder of the company.
Cost Plus’ first product was albendazole, an antiparasitic drug used to treat hookworm. This is an infection with larvae that enter the body from the soil or with dirty water. One tablet can cost $255. If you get the medicine directly from the manufacturer, then it will cost only $20.
Investor Mark Cuban said he decided to back the company “because it’s already embarrassing how overpriced generic drugs are and how companies are doing everything to hide it.”
And Cuban decided to add his name to the name of the company in order to “attract public attention.” After all, he is a famous person. He owns the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, Landmark Theaters, and even starred in films and TV shows. In Shark Tornado, the 2015 film, he even took on the role of the President of the United States.
Alex Oshmyansky says that the decision to found a company came to him after the story with Martin Shkreli. He once decided to raise the price of the life-saving AIDS drug, Daraprim, from $13 to $750. This caused such a public outcry that Shkreli was instantly dubbed “the most hated man in America.”
“I am a practicing doctor, and this whole story upset me insanely. So I wanted to try to fix the whole situation,” says Alex.
There are other companies that are struggling with the problem in their own way. For example, BetterMed provides loans at 0% interest to cover the cost of medicines and other medical services. And you can repay the loan within 15 years.
Comparing prices as a way to save money on meds
But the GoodRx company helps to save money by comparing prices in different pharmacies.
“I once bought a prescription drug and paid $500. I thought it was the standard price. But then I went to other pharmacies – and there the medicine cost $200-$400. But to save money, I had to walk around the city. And this is not always convenient. So I figured if there are websites for price comparisons for appliances and travel, why not a website for medicines? That’s how GoodRx was born,” says founder Doug Hirsch.
He claims that the company has helped users save $30 billion since 2011.
Tags: loans, medication, medicine, treatment