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Monday, January 28, 2013

Understand Prescriptions and Their Costs

Living in the decade you do, you are lucky to be able to utilize the science and technology around you. One of the areas where science has greatly advanced is in prescription medications.

Because of these advancements individuals can take medication for things that years ago could have done serious harm or even killed them. Now there are medications that can help your heart, your love life, pain and inflammation, and even medicine that has helped change people’s outlook for diseases like AIDS and HIV.

Moldy Bread Saved the World

Antibiotics were one of the biggest game changers in modern medicine. Since Alexander Flemming’s discovery bacterial infections like the mumps, measles, and common cold that were once killers throughout society, are all but history. Zithromax has become a top antibiotic to give to people for respiratory infections, skin infections, STD’s and so much more. It is a popular antibiotic to give because it has convenient and easy dosing, and it has relatively little side effects. The average cost for this medication is $44.

Helping High Cholesterol

Lipitor has been a leading drug in the fight against high cholesterol for a number of years now. It was ranked number 7 on Forbes’ The Most Popular Prescription Drugs, and totals around 51.5 million prescribed users. However it also cost people an average of $136 a month and can be a reason why scientists need to continue to look for more options in battling cholesterol.

Treating Anxiety

Alprazolam, or sometimes known as Xanax, is one of the more common drugs to help people who suffer from anxiety. This mood stabilizer has been popular since the late 1980s and is regularly prescribed to about 44.4 million people a month. The average cost a user pays is about $70.

Expensive Prescriptions

A struggle people have today with prescription medication is that although science has given us amazing medicines, there can be big price tags to go with them. A few are:

•  Folotyn- Cancer drug: $320,000 a year.

•  Elaprase- Fights Hunter syndrome: $375,000 a year.

•  Soliris- Treats paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria: $400,000 a year.

Why High Drug Costs?

One reason why prescription costs are so high is because of expensive pharmaceuticals. There are people who have rare diseases that need medication that can run up to hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. There are even more people who need drugs to fight conditions like cancer and multiple sclerosis that can cost $50,000-100,000 per person a year. Also, there is no regulation is the US for prescription drug prices.

How Can People Afford Medication?

It is imperative that doctors and scientists continue to do research and look for cures. Just like with the discovery of antibiotics there may be serious diseases around today that can be eradicated tomorrow. In the meantime people can participate in money saving prescription plans like the Big Apple Rx, which is free and available to anyone who lives in New York City. You simply print out the card and use it for discounts when you go to purchase your medication. According to news sources this program alone save Brooklyn residents $295,000 and overall city residents overall $3 million.

Modern medicine is certainly something to be thankful for, but we’re not ready to rest yet. There is still plenty of work to do on cures, advancements, and more cost effective treatments. However, cities and independent businesses are helping with prescription savings plans and people are finding ways to get their medication safely and affordably. Knowing your options can help you as a consumer too.

The above entry is a guest blog entry.

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