BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (BRPROUD) – You may have noticed that the price of prescription drugs is rising, forcing you to pay more out of pocket.
Louisiana Independent Pharmacies Association (LIPA) President Randal Johnson said rising prescription drug costs are preventing some people from paying for their treatment.
“It’s a shame that when we look at these discounts, the drugs shouldn’t cost what they cost,” he said.
He experienced this while receiving flu medication.
“So think about it, the difference between $ 11.56 and $ 45.60 for the exact same drug 48 hours apart using the exact same health insurance plan,” Johnson said.
America’s Agenda executive director Mark Blum said intermediaries called Pharmacy Benefit Managers negotiate contracts between manufacturers and healthcare providers. He said that this is probably the cause of the rise in drug prices.
“He just negotiates with the manufacturers, negotiates with the wholesalers, then he negotiates with the pharmacists. The pharmacist buys the drugs, but can only sell the drugs for what the medicare plan allows. So he’s in the middle of all of these deals, ”Blum said.
This year, laws were passed across the state to increase transparency and make prescriptions more affordable.
“This allows the pharmacist to provide the patient with information on the price of their prescription drugs,” Johnson said.
A law introduced by Senator Fred Mills allows middlemen to compete for better prices based on the state’s calculation for the price of a drug.
“It allows the state to create a competitive market. What it does is use big data analytics, to take PBM offers for thousands of drugs, calculate what the pricing will be for those offers, and show the price of the offers to others. PBMs and have them compete against each other, “Blum explained.” When you know the price of various vendors, you are going for the good you want at the cheapest price you can get it for. ”
Johnson encouraged you to speak with your local pharmacist to make sure you are getting the best price possible.
“When you know how much something costs and are able to ask, ‘Should it cost that much? “We’ve seen that transparency actually brings a reduction in that cost,” Johnson said.
Almost one in three adults has not taken their medication in the past year due to the price tag, according to a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation.