Why prescription prices stay high: Pharma recycles old medications

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Why prescription prices stay high: Pharma recycles old medications

Oatent extensions let drug makers keep prices high and prevent competition, as described in a recent study from the University of California at Hastings College of the Law tracks. “Rather than creating new medicines, pharmaceutical companies are recycling and repurposing old ones,” write the authors, Robin Feldman and Connie Wang. “Every year, at least 74% […]

Save Money On Prescriptions: 8 Easy Hacks

Save Money On Prescriptions: 8 Easy Hacks

This post originally appeared on Forbes, where I am a contributor.  If you’re like a lot of Americans, your prescription prices keep going up and up. What to do? Here are eight easy hacks for saving money on meds. Before the hacks though, one important point: If your insurance company won’t pay for something that is recommended by […]

18% of cancer patients can’t afford medication, study finds

Filed Under: Costs


Summary: “Financial pressures kept cancer patients from filling prescription medications and attending their doctors’ visits, University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers found in a new study,” according to a press release from the center. “More than one-in-four cancer patients surveyed reported they had to pay more for medical care than they could […]

Prescription drug prices: The system, in all its glory.

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients


Summary: Rob Lamberts, a family physician, wrote this useful piece over at his blog, “Musings of a Distractible Mind.” The money quote: “This incident is just one example of the terrible gaming that routinely occurs with the prices of drugs. There are plenty of others. Why, for example, do brand name medications continue having such […]

Tips for shopping for prescription drugs: Consumer Reports

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers


Summary: We’ve written a lot on prescription drug pricing; here’s our prescriptions page. Consumer Reports took up the topic recently: “Millions of Americans have been hit with high drug costs within the last year. In fact, a recent Consumer Reports National Research Center poll of 1,037 adults showed that a third of those who currently […]

Buying prescription drugs from Canada: One woman’s story


  Summary: Buying medications by mail from Canada? You’re not alone. A friend from California explained how she started out on this path, and why she thinks this will save a lot of money — although, strictly speaking, the Food and Drug Administration considers the practice illegal, and has reportedly intercepted some shipments of medications […]

Insurance plans place all medications for some conditions in high-price tier

Filed Under: Costs


Summary: Extending insurance coverage to all, even those with serious or pre-existing conditions, was one of the promises of the Affordable Care Act. And yet conditions including high coinsurance and high co-pays have put treatment out of reach for insured people. Here’s a new analysis from Avalere Health saying that some insurance plans “place all […]

How managed care prescription pricing has worked to raise costs

Filed Under: Health plans, Patients


Summary: “The Center for Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) at the University of Michigan reports that until 2002, most people with employer-sponsored insurance that included prescription drug coverage were in plans with one or two formulary tiers. As of last year, nearly 25% of insured people were in plans with four or five tiers, and the […]

How to shop smart for medications: A simple binder method

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients


This post about how to buy medications thoughtfully as a smart consumer appeared on one of my online groups. I thought it was so wise that I asked the author if I could post it here, and she agreed. The writer is Moyra Phillips, Huntsville, Ala., who identifies herself as “a wife, mother, grandmother.” The […]

Guest post: How to apply for help in paying for expensive drugs

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients


Samuel Rulon-Miller manages the blog the NeedyMeds Voice, part of NeedyMeds.org, a Massachusetts nonprofit with resources for people seeking help with the cost of medicine. Launched in January of 2013, the NeedyMeds Voice focuses on presenting readers with timely, provocative pieces on healthcare reform, patient advocacy, medication and healthcare access, and other health-related news. This […]