Modern medications can work wonders, improving quality of life, curing illness and even saving lives. However, those miracles can come at a high cost, as anyone who's had to pay for branded prescription medication knows. In fact, spending on prescription drugs has increased 73 percent in the past seven years, according to a new report from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA).
The Health of America Report found prescription drug spending by Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) members increased 10 percent annually since 2010. High costs of patent-protected prescription drugs account for the lion's share of the total increase.
Generic drugs account for 82 percent of total prescriptions filled, but account for just 37 percent of total drug spending. By contrast, patent-protected prescription drugs comprise less than 10 percent of all prescriptions filled but account for 63 percent of total drug spending, the report found.
"Experience and past price trends suggest drug costs will continue to rise in the future," says Maureen Sullivan, chief strategy and innovation officer for BCBS. "The need for more affordable generic alternatives to costly patent-protected brand-name pharmaceuticals is urgent. As prices continue to rise, more consumers will be looking for ways to curb the cost of their medications."
What you can do to lower the cost of your prescription drugs
It is possible to lower your drug costs while still taking the medications your doctor has prescribed to help your health. BCBSA offers some guidance:
Remember, taking multiple prescription drugs can sometimes cause unintended side effects, including dizziness, disorientation and confusion. You may also find interactions with other drugs or vitamins can cause balance issues, leading to a fall. A medical alert system with automatic fall detection built into the pendant can help reduce the risk of falling in the event of a prescription drug medication interaction. An automatic medication pill dispenser can also ensure the correct dose is taken at the right time, improving compliance and reducing confusion.
For more information about prescription drug costs, and to read the full Health of America report, visit www.bcbs.com/healthofamerica.
Editors Note: Article courtesy of BPT. All product names, logos, and brands are property of their respective owners and used for identification purposes only. Use of these names, logos, and brands does not imply endorsement.