Rising cost of prescription drugs hits Georgians

The one-year supply for an insulin drug has gone from nearly $3,000 to $5,000.

GEORGIA, USA – Everything seems to be on the rise these days, including prescription drugs. According to a 2021 Gallup poll, 18 million Americans cannot afford their prescribed medications.

Justin Wolfe, a family physician nurse at the Macon Volunteer Clinic, says you can pay for your medications without rationing them.

“One of the recommendations I give to all my patients is to shop around. Not everyone offers the same price for medications, and sometimes you can find your particular medication at a reduced or cheaper cost at another pharmacy. than the one you’re used to dealing with,” Wolfe said. “Some of my patients use multiple pharmacies if they’re close together.”

Wolfe helps his patients determine where they can find affordable prescription medication.

“We have access to patient assistance programs through the manufacturers. We were actually able to provide $500,000 in patient assistance for medications this year alone.”

Wolfe has also heard of patients rationing their insulin if they have diabetes. He says it’s a serious health issue and something in the health industry needs to change.

“I would like to see insulin prices come down and more patient assistance programs available like what we have here at the Macon Volunteer Clinic,” Wolfe said.

Antonio Ciaccia is the CEO of 46brooklyn Research. A non-profit organization that reviews drug price data. He thinks the prescription drug supply chain in the United States is to blame.

“You have a drug manufacturer who sells a drug to a drug wholesaler. Just think of it as a kind of warehouse for all the drugs that the pharmacies buy. The pharmacies buy the drugs from the wholesalers and then distribute them to the patients. ‘ said Ciaccia.

In Georgia, more than one million people have diabetes or prediabetes. So the one-year supply of Lantus, the brand name insulin that treats diabetes, went from nearly $3,000 to $5,000. Ciaccia says the price is high and should be around $35 to $40 per unit.

“This disconnect represents an opportunity for the entire prescription drug supply chain to reap the benefits of that hidden plush in the middle,” Ciaccia said.

Wolfe says supply and demand are also part of the reason for the price hike. However, he recommends his patients who cannot afford the large amount.

“Good Rx is very good. They offer discount coupons where you can get cost reductions if you pay out of pocket. And again, if it’s a newer drug, the Most manufacturers have a manufacturer support program.

The Macon Volunteer Clinic provides medical services to those who earn below a certain income and do not have health insurance. You can visit their website to see if you qualify.

Along with the Macon Volunteer Clinic, United Way of Central Georgia helps negotiate prescription discounts through its SingleCare prescription savings card.

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