Real prescription drug costs

Listen to many politicians and you will learn that prescription drug costs are out of control, unaffordable, people can’t pay for their meds, they split pills, etc.

Yes, to some extent that’s all true, but in many situations it is not.

Prices referenced are mostly retail prices which nobody actually pays. GoodRx and similar programs greatly lower prices. Some pharmacy chains offer their own similar programs. In addition, all but three states have pharmaceutical assistance programs for moderate to low income people.

I was in a pharmacy recently and a person was picking up medication. The clerk informed her the Rx was not covered by her plan and would cost $695. She was about to walk away and I asked if she used GoodRx – bottom line the cost was instantly lowered to $190.

Legislating caps on drug prices or out of pocket costs that apply to certain segments of the population only shift costs to others.

No question we need to rethink every step of the prescription drug process from start to finish to determine fair prices. What won’t do any good is simply focusing on the end retail prices and trying to cut those largely imaginary costs.


  1. Drug prices are like commercial flying,you can sit beside someone who paid half as much or twice as much for the same seating arrangement. Drug costs are more important in most cases. The whole thing needs to be rethought.


  2. Your example of prescription drug costs is what really irritates me. The whole healthcare industry is based on cost shifting. Now either that drug costs $695 or $190. A manufacturer will not stay in business selling at a loss therefore it can sell it for $190. Usually when a retail store offers a sale price, it is to remove excess inventory or they take a loss to get you into the store. But healthcare is like talking to a car salesman. One price for you and another price for somebody else for the exact same car. I get that there might be group discounts and sweetheart deals, but a 73% savings? I am for free markets and capitalism, but this smells of price gouging and takes advantage of the poor. I have thought of several ways to combat this but I am afraid of the unintended consequences as companies figure out news ways around any new regulations.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s