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When will Prescription Drugs "STOP INCREASING"???

Discussion in 'TUG Lounge' started by gvic, Dec 31, 2018.

  1. gvic

    gvic TUG Member

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    10 Most Expensive Generic Drugs in the US
    ============================
    Drug
    Cash Price
    sildenafil $279
    duloxetine $188
    oseltamivir $133
    omeprazole $132
    atorvastatin $121
    clopidogrel $114
    montelukast $106
    escitalopram $104
    bupropion xl $102
    tamsulosin $86

    1) Sildenafil
    Topping the chart, with 30-day prices averaging $279, is sildenafil, the generic version of two different drugs on the market right now — Revatio and Viagra. Revatio is used to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension, and Viagra is prescribed for erectile dysfunction in men. Unfortunately, there is a big price difference depending on the strength of sildenafil you are filling. Sildenafil at 20 mg (the equivalent to Revatio) can be very affordable, while sildenafil at 100 mg (the equivalent to Viagra) is expensive with just one tablet averaging around $30.

    2) Duloxetine
    Topping the chart, with 30-day prices reaching well beyond $180, is duloxetine(Cymbalta). Used to treat depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, and nerve pain associated with diabetes, duloxetine is covered by most commercial insurance plans — about 95% in fact. But for those of you who might lack coverage for it, shelling out over $150 per month can be too much.

    3) Oseltamivir
    Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) is an expensive flu medication — one course of the drug costs around $133. If taken within 48 hours of symptom onset, oseltamivir can shorten the duration of flu symptoms by 1.3 days. Oseltamivir is not usually covered by insurance plans, but when it is, it is still placed in higher tiers and you will likely be on the hook for a fairly high co-pay.

    4) Omeprazole
    Omeprazole is used to treat acid reflux or GERD, and comes in over-the-counter (Prilosec) and prescription-strength forms. While prescription-strength omeprazole is covered by most commercial insurance plans, a one-month prescription can cost patients $132 without insurance.

    5) Atorvastatin
    Used to treat high cholesterol and prevent the risk of heart attack or stroke, atorvastatin (Lipitor) is currently the most popular drug in America. It’s not surprising then that it’s covered by most insurers. Cash prices are still expensive though — even after prices declined by about 3% over the past five years, a monthly supply still costs around $121.

    6) Clopidogrel
    Clopidogrel (Plavix) is a popular antiplatelet drug, but it can break the bank. While it is covered by 97% of commercial insurance plans, the cash price for a 30-day supply is around $114. What’s more, patients are typically on clopidogrel for some time — up to 18 months in some cases.

    7) Montelukast
    Montelukast (Singulair) is a popular medication used to prevent and treat asthma and allergies, but it’s pretty expensive — the cash price for a month’s supply is around $106. People tend to take montelukast for many years, so it’s fortunate that the drug is covered by many commercial insurance plans.

    8) Escitalopram
    Another antidepressant, escitalopram (Lexapro), carries a cash price of $104 for a 30-day supply. While escitalopram is covered by most insurance plans, some plans have quantity limits and will only cover a certain amount of the drug every month. If you still can’t afford it, talk with your doctor about some alternatives that may be cost effective for you.

    9) Bupropion XL
    Bupropion XL is the generic version of Wellbutrin XL and is used to treat depression. It can cost as much as $102 for a 30-day supply. There is good news though: bupropion is covered by nearly 99% of plans, so there’s a good chance you won’t be paying out of pocket. But if you are, there are ways to save.

    10) Tamsulosin
    Last, but certainly not least, is tamsulosin (Flomax), a popular drug used to treat enlarged prostates in men. Tamsulosin is covered by most insurance plans, but out-of-pocket, it could cost around $86 for a 30-day supply.

    Source: GoodRX
     
  2. bogey21

    bogey21 TUG Member

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    Hard to believe the $121 for Atorvastatin. I just got a 90 day supply for $2.96 with my Medicare Plan D. I'll bet others get it even cheaper than that...

    George
     
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  3. bbodb1

    bbodb1 TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    For those not quite eligible for Medicare (and its many components), Sam's Club PLUS membership gets you low prices on a variety of prescription drugs. If you already have the PLUS membership you should definitely check the list of medications posted on Sam's website at https://www.samsclub.com/sams/pagedetails/content.jsp?pageName=extra-value-drug-list

    Costco members (of which I am NOT one), I believe this is the correct list: https://www.costco.com/member-prescription-program-savings-chart.html

    The reason I wanted to post though was to ask this question - has any one here used https://www.goodrx.com
    and, if so, what was your experience?

    I'm always on the lookout for cheaper pharmacy prices.
     
    mpumilia likes this.
  4. Sugarcubesea

    Sugarcubesea TUG Member

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    I switched from CVS to Costco and I'm saving about $400 a month and I have insurance...
     
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  5. clifffaith

    clifffaith TUG Member

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    When my 2 month supply of Corgard (anti migraine med), which I'd paid $15 for years, started to go up by leaps and bounds, finally topping out at about $175 after a year of increases, we went to Costco after learning you did not need to have a membership to use the pharmacy. My first Rx there was $75 -- great, sign me up. Back 50 days later they wanted $175. "Story" was "everyone charges the same for this drug". We didn't believe it and figured after we paid cash the first time they ran my name and found out they could get more from me and/or insurance company. I then went back to my doctor, who hadn't wanted to tempt fate since the drug worked so well for me, and we were a little more pushy about trying a new drug. New drug is back at the $15 or so range and works just fine (that or at age 63 and well through menopause, the likely hormone triggers for the constant headaches are gone).

    Re: GoodRx. At least twice I'd sign up, see low prices at say Ralph's or CVS, but could not go in person with my pill bottles for an actual price at a pharmacy. They wanted me to come with a paper prescription before they'd give me a price. Then we simply didn't follow through because it felt like we were being strung along. If anyone had ever priced us, and it was worth our while to change, we would have.
     
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  6. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    As mentioned, you DO NOT need to be a member at Costco to use the pharmacy.

    Jim
     
  7. bogey21

    bogey21 TUG Member

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    The answer is yes I have. It was a few years ago and was for a supply above what my Prescription Drug Plan would allow for Latanaprost (an eye drop). I was able to compare the price at 5 or 6 different pharmacies. I then printed out a GoodRx coupon for CVS (who had the lowest price) and it worked great...

    George
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2018
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  8. clifffaith

    clifffaith TUG Member

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    Mom has had a horrible 18 months with eye issues that included a cornea transplant. Teeny tiny bottles of various eye meds (once she was up for 24 hours using drops every 30 minutes to try to save the cornea). They seemed to run about $400 per little bottle, some of which she paid for herself because her insurance company decided they knew better than all the eye specialists she was seeing.
     
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  9. mentalbreak

    mentalbreak Guest

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    I’m surprised the EpiPen is not on this list. Thankfully I haven’t had to refill my son’s since early 2018, but it it was still insanely expensive.
     
  10. Krteczech

    Krteczech TUG Member

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    My 90 day mail order is free with Colorado Humana. 30 day supply picked at the local pharmacy was $ 10. Go figure.
     
  11. rapmarks

    rapmarks TUG Review Crew: Elite TUG Member

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    Publix pharmacy supplies montelucast at no charge with a prescription
     
  12. tschwa2

    tschwa2 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I am wondering if the list is for the brand name of the generic drug. My son took 7) Singular/ Montelukast for years to reduce his need for an inhaler. We had an 80/20 prescription plan and our cost was $60 per month. He now takes the generic (which wasn't available until a few years ago) and now our 20% is $8.00.
     
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  13. Talent312

    Talent312 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    DW's Medicare drug plan changed from Humana to Aetna today.
    On 12/31, Humana emailed a reminder to to refill DW's 3 meds.
    So I placed an order. It was filled+mailed the same day.
    I was impressed that they got it done just under the wire.
    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
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  14. am1

    am1 TUG Member

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    Drug research is expensive and if treated as a business people will charge what they can. How much would one pay for a drug that cured cancer? And would that payback all the money spent trying before the generics are allowed in?
     
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  15. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Our PCP who is really good, recommended Januvia, a new "intelligent" anti-diabetic drug for my husband. His insurance covered a substantial amount and he paid something lime $150 for 3 months supply until he reached the donut hole. His OOP then became about $500 for 3 months. We are willing to pay more for this drug.

    However, the same PCP recommended Dexilant, another very expensive drug, to me for acid-reflux which I tried for 2 months and it was no better than a much less expensive drug. I went back to the old drug.
     
  16. rapmarks

    rapmarks TUG Review Crew: Elite TUG Member

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    I have been on monrelukast for years and on breo Ellipta for a year. The pulmonologist said to cut out one, my choice, so I cut out the expensive ellipta. Well I gradually felt worse and worse, and went back on the ellipta.
     
  17. davidvel

    davidvel TUG Member

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    To answer the OP's title question: Never.
     
  18. Passepartout

    Passepartout TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Or when 'Big Pharma' stops getting preferential treatment from certain elected officials whom they lavish with oodles of cash.
     
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  19. bluehende

    bluehende TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    They will come down when some entity gets between profit motive on one side and death on the other.
     
  20. Talent312

    Talent312 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Whoa! For 90-days of Januvia, my employer-group policy has a co-pay of only $60 for a 3-month supply.

    I don't take docs at their word on meds, anymore...
    A gastroenterologist prescribed Pantoprazole (a PPI) for my acid-reflux. Within a few months, I was seeing a kidney-specialist for kidney disease. Well, there's literature online associating PPI's with kidney disease. So I stopped taking it, and within two months, my kidneys returned to normal. The doc said the studies are not definitive and the issue is not settled.
    My reply: "Based on my anecdotal evidence, the issue is settled for me."
    .
     
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  21. VacationForever

    VacationForever Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    I take Pantoprazole every day. My GI doctor is worried about future hip fracture and would like to ween me off it at some point. My next set of lab tests will be in 2 weeks' time and I will keep your info in mind! Thank you!
     
  22. gvic

    gvic TUG Member

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  23. chriskre

    chriskre TUG Member

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    Pharmacy Benefits Managers have created a mess for everyone.
    I am sure that once Amazon enters the picture things will change
    quickly for consumers. Definitely time for a change.

    I'm glad that Amazon is making drug companies and pharmacies
    nervous. They should be.

    Why are we USA consumers paying 10 times the price of the same
    drug in other countries? Somethings rotten in the drug world.

    https://www.statnews.com/2018/08/27/pharmacy-benefit-managers-good-or-bad/
     
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  24. Talent312

    Talent312 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Becuz we will, or rather, becuz our insurance cos. will, w/o question.
    They know that ins. cos. will pay most, if not all of the bill, so why not pad it.

    .
     
  25. Steve Fatula

    Steve Fatula TUG Member

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    We use goodrx all the time, most semi popular stuff is cheaper than no insurance prices. My sister in law takes some sort of cancer drug, and her price on GoodRX was cheaper than the insurance co-payment. For Montelukast which was mentioned above, Goodrx says the price is $0 at Kroger if you get their annual membership there, $36 per year if you look at it that way. With no insurance. It's $10 at Sams Club.

    Many generics have gone way up over the past several years. Hydroxychloroquine, which I take to prevent hives, is $6 at Kroger with membership according to Goodrx, which is ok as I used to pay $12 5 years ago and then it had gone up to close to $800 for a year or so.
     
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