Published January 21st, 2016 by Stephanie
Recently, several states throughout America have introduced bills which are attempting to limit the cost of medication as prices for prescription drugs have risen by over 10 percent for the third year in a row. For its part, Washington State has offered a bill that places a cap on the out-of-pocket maximum which patients have to pay on prescription medications.
While the main defense of pharmaceutical companies is that they need the money to pay for the research and development of new drugs (or, more precisely, to pay to purchase successful new medications from actual biotech research firms), a secondary defense which they sometimes pull out is that they are assessing cost based on need: the higher the need for a drug, or the better it is at saving or preserving lives, the higher the cost of the drug.
However, this sort of cost assignment seems to run counter to all other industries which are similarly critical. For instance, the price of tap water is typically gallons for a penny, but its main competitor, bottled water, comes with a price that’s usually dollars per gallon. If a municipal water supply chose to increase its price by ten or even one hundred times, we would be forced to pay since it’s still the cheapest option and we need water for drinking, for showers, for our toilets, and for washing both dishes and clothing.
At the same time, however, municipal water utilities don’t raise their prices that high because they know they wouldn’t get away with it – the local community would raise a tremendous clamor about it and would force the mayor and the city council to bring water prices back down. Thus, because water is so essential, we force water companies to sell it as cheap as possible.
So what, then, makes lifesaving medications any different? The drugs may be manufactured by private companies, but the government has at least a theoretical ability to subsidize the price or else demand that the price go down for the sake of the patients who absolutely need them. That’s why state governments are attempting to pass price caps into law: because needing a drug to live doesn’t mean you should have to spend your life savings on it.
And in the meantime, another way you can save money on prescription medications is with the USA Rx pharmacy discount card. Our card is accepted in over 60,000 pharmacies nationwide and can get you up to a 75 percent discount on drugs both brand-name and generic. Signing up is totally free, too: all we need is your name and an email address. If you’d like to know more, please email us at [email protected] or call our number at 888-277-3911.