Difficult Decisions

Skyrocketing drug prices are forcing many Americans to make difficult choices between the prescriptions they need and the essentials they live on. A recent Consumer Reports survey suggests that people who have seen an increase in their drug prices over the past 12 months are cutting back in other areas to save money.


The survey also claimed some people failed to use their medications as directed in an effort to cut down on costs.

The problem with forking over the additional cash is that it hurt people in other ways—people were more likely to stop taking their medication; they also skipped filling prescriptions, or didn’t take the prescribed dosage; split pills without contacting their doctor or pharmacist first, took expired meds or even shared prescription drugs with other people, compared to those whose drug costs remained steady.

According to a story in the New York Post, “Nearly one-third of Americans were hit with price hikes for medications in the past year – and the pricey pills are jeopardizing retirement plans, family life, and overall health.”

“Americans are being bled dry by corporate profiteering that is completely legal. And their pocketbook pain is reverberating through virtually every facet of their lives from retirement plans to family time to the essentials of daily living, such as buying groceries,” said Lisa Gill, the deputy editor at Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs.

Consumers aren’t alone. A recent article in Fierce Healthcare ran the headline, “Rising drug prices squeeze hospital bottom lines.” From that article:

Hospitals are getting hammered not only by the double-digit hikes by big pharmaceutical companies but by the practices of smaller companies such as Turing Pharmaceuticals that buy up patents to old-line drugs such as Daraprim and raising their prices 50-fold or more.

That has prompted some hospitals to try and take significant actions to cut their drug costs, such as using electronic medical record systems to prompt physicians about whether they are prescribing drugs that are particularly expensive.

Share your thoughts on how we can battle rising drug prices here in Arizona. Working together to find innovative solutions to the health problems we face is key to our long-term goal of finding new ways to one day make Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!



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