First of a series:
If you want to save on your prescriptions, you have to first know the games drug firms and retailers play.
First rule, according to Consumer Reports "On Health,” is during the last five years of a patent, drug companies jack up the prices, figuring that they already have a captive audience.
The price increases are substantial. Consumer Reports says it used studies of almost 50 million prescriptions filled in the past five years to come up with its data.
Here are a couple of examples:
Boniva, used to treat osteoporosis. The average price in 2007 was $119 and it increased by 102 percent to $240 this year.
Provigil, used to treat excessive sleepiness. The price in 2007 was $272 while today it costs $1,101, more than 300 percent higher.
So what can you do? Ask for generics. Also check with your doctor on whether other similar, but cheaper medication would do the same for you.
And, make sure you get at least an online subscription to Consumer Reports and buy their health newsletter. You can’t spend money more wisely.