Global spending on prescription drugs will reach nearly $1.8 trillion by 2026, with the United States alone spending up to $715 billion, according to the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science. Furthermore, the global medicine market is expected to grow at a 3% to 6% compound annual growth rate through 2026. As prescription drug costs continue to increase, it’s important to understand the trends causing the increase and how to better manage your health care expenses.
Why Are Prescription Drug Prices on the Rise?
Skyrocketing specialty drug costs have significantly contributed to the price of prescription drugs overall. Additionally, as the patient population expands and people age into chronic, complex diseases, increased utilization has contributed to rising costs. Other factors contributing to rising drug prices include increased production of specialty drugs to meet complex market needs and patients’ failure to follow physician orders, which can contribute to more costly health problems down the road.
A 2023 survey from the Business Group on Health found that prescription drugs were a significant driver of health care costs in recent years. According to the survey results, prescription drugs accounted for 21% of employers’ health care costs, and 56% of pharmacy costs were spent on specialty medications.
5 Strategies to help Reduce Your Prescription Drug Costs
As prescription drug costs increase, it’s critical that you find ways to keep your medications affordable and accessible. Consider the following five strategies to mitigate the financial burden of rising prescription drugs costs:
- Purchase generic medications. Using generic medications can significantly reduce the costs of medications while providing care as safe and effective as brand name medications.
- Ask about medication options. Typically, there are multiple medications that can treat the same condition. Ask your health care provider, pharmacist or insurance provider whether there are any cheaper alternatives that provide equally effective care.
- Contact a different pharmacy. The costs of medications can vary greatly between pharmacies. Comparing drug prices offered by pharmacies can help you reduce your prescription drug costs.
- Use coupons. Many drug manufacturers offer coupons to help reduce prescription drug costs. Using these coupons can help keep your medications affordable. GoodRx is a free smartphone app that is a great resource for finding prescription drug savings. Additionally, some drug manufacturers offer patient assistance programs that can help uninsured or low-income patients lower their prescription drug costs.
- Take your medications. One of the most effective ways to reduce your health care expenses is by staying healthy. Ensuring that you take your prescriptions as directed can help you stay healthy and avoid more serious and expensive outcomes, such as hospitalizations.
Being aware of prescription drug trends and relying on these strategies can help you mitigate the impact of rising drug costs.
We're Here to Help
Our employee benefits team provides long-term benefit planning to strategically analyze ways to contain costs without compromising your quality of care. If you’re feeling the sting of rising prescription drug costs and would like to discuss alternative options or have another set of eyes on your program, give us a call today or contact us via the form below.