Why Prescription Drug Prices Are Rising in 2022

It's no secret that prescription drug prices increased in 2021, and are set to increase again in 2022. For the millions of Americans who rely on affordable medications, it can be frustrating to know you may pay more. Knowing why prices are rising can help you navigate your prescriptions and find ways to cut back on costs.

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Why Prescription Drug Prices Are Rising in 2022

Drug Prices are Rising

On January 1st, 2022, drug companies raised the prices of hundreds of medications. Most prices went up by 5% to 6% on average. The beginning of the new year is the most popular time for drug companies to increase prices.

Despite high prescription costs being one of the largest political health care controversies, it doesn’t seem like medications will get any more affordable.

To be exact, there was an increased cost for 460 drugs. Drugmakers tend to implement price hikes on other days throughout January, so look out for more increases throughout the upcoming weeks.

Let’s take a look at some specific medications that have increased their prices:

  • Vertex has raised the price by 4.9% on their cystic fibrosis medication Trikafta
  • Pfizer increased the price of their breast cancer drug Ibrance and the Prevnar vaccine by 6.9%; they also increased the cost of Vyndamax and Vyndaqel by 4.4%
  • Gilead increased their HIV drugs Descovy and Biktarvy by 5.6%
  • Purdue raised their opioid OxyContin by 5% 

These increases affect the drugs list prices, but pharmacy benefit managers can lower these costs through aggressively negotiating rebates and discounts. Additionally, there are a host of other cost containment strategies, such as alternate funding, site-of-care infusions, pharmacogenomics, and more that can bring costs down for employers and plan members. 

Lack of price regulation and limited market competition leads to these costs, among other factors like price hikes in the supply chain.

Lowering Your Prescription Cost

It can feel overwhelming to know that your life-saving medication is becoming a financial burden. That’s why knowing some tips and tricks to save money will help ease your worries.

One of the best ways is to find the generic version. Generics have been proven to be as safe and effective as the original brand-name option. Be sure to look for an option with the same active drug and one that has met the same requirements for production as the original product.

Another way to save money is to look for patient assistance programs. These programs can help you get the medication you need without the worry of spending all of your savings.

Staying in the Know

Although you may not want to confront the fact that prescription drug prices are rising, it’s important to be informed. Knowing what to expect helps you plan your finances, find the right pharmacy, and look for ways to save. Remember to stay updated with the shifting medication costs, so you’re not surprised by the higher price tags.

Looking for unbeatable care? As a pharmacy benefit manager, we take pride in being the connector of good health. Be sure to contact IPM today to chat more.