A Guide to Prescription Drug Prices in 2023
Category: Prescription Related Questions
Posted on December 6, 2022
Scott is passionate about health and wellness, and enjoys writing on various topic surrounding these fields. Scott lives in Seattle and spends his free time restoring old furniture and playing pickleball with his friends.
Did you know that Americans spend around $12,530 on medical bills annually? That number is inclusive of insurance deductibles and premiums and accounts for nearly 20% of annual earnings.
Medication costs are one of the reasons that annual medical expenses tally thousands. Many Americans use at least one prescription drug regularly. So, what are prescription drug prices in 2023 projected to be?
Prescription drugs have notoriously been higher in the United States versus other countries. With inflation soaring, so have medications. While there are some new laws in place to lower medication, many Americans need other avenues.
In our complete guide, we will review where medication prices are heading and how you can save money in 2023, so keep reading for more information!
What Is the Inflation Reduction Act?
Earlier this year, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act in the United States. This new Act focused on several key health expense factors, such as:
- Prescription costs
- Yearly out-of-pocket expenses
- Health premiums
The Act spans several upcoming years with a timeline laid out on how Americans can start saving money. The timeline that directly affects prescription costs in 2023 are:
- Insulin price caps for Medicare participants
- No-cost vaccines for those with Medicare Part D
- Medicare Part B rebates for drug prices that increase more than inflation
- Lower coinsurance for Part B drugs
Unfortunately, many substantial changes are not expected to take root until years later. For example, in 2023, CMS will announce ten drugs that will be part of the Price Negotiation Program. However, the price cap will not be enforced until 2026.
Insulin Costs in 2023
One of the biggest changes in prescriptions and medical care is insulin costs. Under this new bill, Medicare participants will have maximum monthly copayments of $35 on insulin under Part D.
By 2025, Medicare Part D will cap out-of-pocket expenses on prescription drugs to $2,000. While these immediate changes in insulin costs help many seniors with Medicare, it still has limitations. First, it does not include younger patients who do not qualify for Medicare.
Second, it does not help seniors without insurance. As of earlier this year, purchasing insulin vials range can cost up to $1,000 (or more).
A pack of pens ranges from $45 to $600. Individuals with high deductible plans often pay thousands of dollars for their insulin requirements.
Does Inflation Affect Drug Prices?
While the Inflation Reduction Act targets lowering drug prices, inflation has still increased drug prices for the foreseeable future. During a year period, prescription prices increased by 31.6%. In July 2022, the average price increase per drug was almost $250.
Cancer medications took one of the hardest hits. Wholesale prices for two particular medications increased from $399,000 to $424,000.
Fluconazole, an antifungal, had the sharpest percentage increase, raising its prices from $2 in 2021 to $28 this year. Lisinopril, Calcium Acetate, and Ditiazem also had some of the largest percentage increases.
How Can You Save on Prescription Drug Prices in 2023?
Insurance is one tool to save money on prescriptions. However, some insurances will only cover certain drugs and can still leave you with high out-of-pocket costs. Other options to save money in 2023 are:
- Using discount programs
- Shopping for online prescriptions
- Switching to generic medications
- Asking your physician about alternative medications or treatments
Shopping online is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to save money on costly prescriptions. The benefits of an online pharmacy include the following:
- 90-day prescription supplies
- Generic availability
- Larger selection
Canadian online pharmacies might also give you the option of purchasing dispensed medication from other countries, which can lower your overall costs. With more versatility, you will find prescriptions at a fraction of the cost.
Why Does Canada Have Cheaper Drug Prices?
Canada employs more price caps and regulations on prescription medication. In return, this lowers costs for citizens and can make a huge difference for Americans looking for savings options.
Typically, prescriptions tend to have lower costs online. They often have a wider selection and pay fewer fees for taxes and employees because of their platform. There are some considerations to keep in mind when shopping online.
First, the online pharmacy might not dispense every medication you need. Controlled substances are one prime example of this. Second, you will have shipping costs.
Usually, shipping is a flat rate and does not negate the cost-savings compared to traditional pharmacies. Lastly, if you need medication asap, online Canadian pharmacies might not be the best choice.
While there are options for overnight or express shipping, there is a time and place when local pharmacies are useful. Online pharmacies are ideal for individuals who have regular monthly medication so that they can plan ahead on refill orders. These medications add up over the course of the year, and you will find more long-term savings this way.
Does Shopping Online Affect Your Insurance?
Shopping for your prescriptions online does not affect your insurance. Yet, you will not be able to use your insurance for international orders.
After placing your order, you can submit your receipt to the insurance for reimbursement. Keep in mind that not every medical insurance company will accept it.
Start Saving More in 2023
Have you wondered what prescription drug prices in 2023 will be? With inflation, drug prices have already risen this year, and the trend is expected to continue into 2023.
For Medicare patients, there are new laws in place that will limit some out-of-pocket costs. Unfortunately, many changes will not take place immediately once the calendar year turns over.
And for patients that do not have Medicare, there are few options. At PricePro Pharmacy, we aim to help you save money on costly prescriptions. Check out our list of medications to get started with your next prescription refill!