How to save money as cost of prescribed medicine increases

Published: January 20, 2022 4:21 PM EST

Groceries and gas prices are not the only things rising.

The cost of medicine is also increasing.

But in the case of prescription drugs, experts say, inflation is not the culprit.

Regardless, the rising costs are affecting others.

Cape Coral resident Julie Schuester isn’t sure how she is supposed to pay for her prescription drugs every month now.

“Prescriptions have gone through the roof. I mean there was one that was a 100 some dollars and I’m like I think I can do without it,” she said.

Drug prices typically go up at the start of the new year.

“There’s not necessarily a reason for it, it just happens to be that time of year, and if you’re paying attention, you may have noticed for a couple of prices that you pay for things that you count on are higher than they used to be,” said Victor Claar, an economist at Florida Gulf Coast University.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics keeps track of how much you’re paying at the pharmacy counter.

Their records show from Nov. 2021 to Dec. 2021, inflation caused a slight increase of .1 percent.

Claar said drug makers may raise prices more often in part to pay for research and other drugs.

But there are options.

“We do grant a patent, then once the patent expires we get the lower price generic version. so the good news is we get more drugs more rapidly because of the incentives that patents provide but it also means initially that those pharmaceutical prices are higher than they will be later on,” Claar said.

But for Schuester, she still has to make a difficult choice, food or her medicine.

“If it came down to it, I guess people are going to go without it. They’re going to go without, versus spending the little bit of money they do have,” she said.

How to save a little bit of money on medicine:

  • Shop around. Some pharmacies are cheaper than others.
  • See if you can get a 3-month supply instead of one month. It’s more money upfront but you do save a couple of dollars and trips.
  • Look into programs like Good-RX.
  • Or reach out to manufacturers, who may offer discount coupons.