Have you ever wanted to overcome the high cost of prescription drugs? You can! Please consider the following:
- The average retail cost of many widely used prescription drugs is now over $11,000 per person per year, which is more than double from 2006.
- As an example: the cost of insulin has tripled in the past decade. This effects increasing numbers of people as Doctors are more aggressive regarding diabetes treatment. There are also more overweight and obese people each year.
- Pharmaceutical companies are now raising their prices several times per year, vs. the traditional once a year jump that consumers got used to.
- Generic drugs are not immune in the race for higher prices, some generics are doubling, tripling or even increasing by 1,000%!
- Medical costs are still the #1 reason for personal bankruptcy in the US. A recent Harvard University study showed that medical expenses account for approximately 62% of personal bankruptcies in the US. Interestingly, the study also showed that 72% of those who filed for bankruptcy, due to medical expenses, had some type of health insurance, thus deflating the urban myth that only the uninsured face financial catastrophes due to medical-related expenses.
- A family’s health insurance deductible is now $13,700 per year while an individual’s deductible is $6,850. Co-pays can be as high as 50%. Ouch!
If trends continue, despite insurance, more Americans will be unable to afford their medications.
Keep in mind that “list prices” of medications are just a place to start. The “list price” is only the retail price for people who do not use or have insurance. People with insurance pay a range of prices, similar to buying a car, booking an airplane ticket, or getting a hotel room. We really don’t know what it costs, it can be very vague. People with less money are the ones forced to pay to closer to list price for prescription drugs. However, insured people are now being asked to pay a larger part of their prescription drug share through higher percentages and co-pays.
Prices can be prohibitive to the medications even being used which can jeopardize health care – especially when providers are unaware their patients are not taking prescribed medications! We all have heard of, or know, people who do not take their medication because of the expense. Some experts report about ¼ of all prescriptions are not filled.
But why all the price gouging? There are a variety of reasons that include the lack of competition due to mergers and acquisitions, as well as drug companies worried about new regulations. These corporations spike prices to protect themselves.
US doctors demand price controls, noting we are the only economically advanced country who’s government does not regulate drug prices. Until something is done by the government (wait… did you see a pig just fly?) it may be up to us to lessen our financial medical related burdens. We must take some responsibility for ourselves, for our own health, and not simply passively accept our poor health and every medication prescribed. Don’t’ get me wrong, some medication is incredibly important! But we can make changes to our lifestyle too, which is what most medications are prescribed for.
What can we do?
We can do a lot! We can try to prevent as much illness as possible and potentially reverse some illnesses that we do have via a healthy plant based, vegan lifestyle. The best thing we can do is maintain a slim, healthy permanent weight, exercise and move around every day, lessen our stress, stop smoking, get appropriate amounts of sleep, and stay connected with family and friends.
Healthy vegan, plant based nutrition includes a beautiful array of fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, beans, nuts, and seeds. You can learn more about a vegan lifestyle in the educational video program I created! The increased amount of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phyto-nutrients and fiber add a powerful healthy punch in our fight against illness. It is not enough to simply stop eating high cholesterol foods for example, we have to ADD colorful fruits, veggies, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. When we focus on a plant based diet, our stomachs are “blissed-out” with healthy bacteria. We sleep better. Our bodies respond with a lightness, an increase in energy; we simply feel good and that makes us feel better! We benefit in so many ways!
Just remember that when we feel great, we don’t go to doctors, worry about a diagnosis, spend money, deal with insurance, and hassle with prescription drugs.
Take the risk of feeling fabulous! Dive in to a healthy vegan, plant based lifestyle!
Photo: Copyright: ravital / 123RF Stock Photo