New Visitors Privacy Policy Sponsorship Contact Us Media
Baby Boomers Family Green Home and Auto In Critical Condition Just Starting Out Lifestyle Money
- advertisement -
Bankrate.com
News & Advice Compare Rates Calculators
Rate Alerts  |  Glossary  |  Help
Mortgage Home
Equity
Auto CDs &
Investments
Retirement Checking &
Savings
Credit
Cards
Debt
Management
College
Finance
Taxes Personal
Finance

 

Save by shopping for generic drugs

As medical costs and prescription drug prices soar, beleaguered consumers may find a way to save by buying generic drugs.

- advertisement -

Drug prices vary widely when it comes to the brand name and generic prescriptions available online and in chain and local pharmacies. And in most of these cases, the generics are cheaper than the brand names.

The problem that lies beneath is that many of the newer drugs aren't available as generics.

Generic drug companies are becoming aggressive in challenging the patents protecting brand name drugs while Congress is pondering action to speed up the approval and availability of generics.

The drive to slow drug-price increases is powered by widespread concern about the rising costs of health care. According to a 2007 report by the federal Government Accountability Office, prescription drug spending as a share of national health expenditures rose from 8.9 percent in 2000 to 10.1 percent in 2005. Prescription drug spending, the report reveals, is among the fastest-growing areas of health care expenditures.

Taking medicine?
Check out these 14 drugs that can be replaced with lower-priced generics.

Generics are widely available, but prices vary significantly from outlet to outlet. Wal-Mart roiled the industry by rolling out a flat $4 fee for a long list of commonly prescribed generics, a move that forced many other drug, department and grocery stores, as well as online outlets, to lower their prices.

Still, many drugs that have recently gone off patent and that are available as generics are only somewhat cheaper than the original branded drugs because the Food and Drug Administration grants the first company to get generic approval a six-month exclusive generic license.

Once those six months are up, other generic companies enter the market, and by the time generic versions have been out for two years, prices usually become substantially lower than when the brand name medication was the only alternative.

Comparison shopping
Shopping for the lowest price on prescription drugs can be time-consuming but ultimately rewarding.

AARP, an advocacy group for seniors, reported that brand name drug prices climbed an average of 6.2 percent throughout 2006. Generic prices, on the other hand, fell by an average of 2 percent.

Many drugs Americans rely on to control chronic health conditions, such as high blood pressure, anemia and osteoporosis, have experienced rapid inflation, according to the AARP study.

The collective cost of a year's treatment regimen with five popular drugs tracked by AARP rose by $2,303 during a seven-year period. These price increases tend to be harder on older Americans, many of whom require three or four medications to control their health conditions.

 
 
Next: "The Safety Issue ..."
Page | 1 | 2 |
 
 RESOURCES
Discover new ways to cut costs
Buying prescriptions online: a safe bet?
For cheaper prescriptions, see your doctor
 TOP PERSONAL FINANCE STORIES
Video: 5 myths about going green
5 myths about going green
Video: Ways to keep produce fresh
 

Compare Rates
NATIONAL OVERNIGHT AVERAGES
30 yr fixed mtg 4.45%
48 month new car loan 3.77%
1 yr CD 0.89%
Rates may include points
RELATED CALCULATORS
  How much life insurance do I need?  
  Calculate your payment on any loan  
  What will it take to save for a goal?  
VIEW ALL  
BASICS SERIES
Begin with personal finance fundamentals:
Auto Loans
Checking
Credit Cards
Debt Consolidation
Insurance
Investing
Home Equity
Mortgages
Student Loans
Taxes
Retirement
FINANCIAL LITERACY
Rev up your portfolio
with these tips and tricks.
- advertisement -
- advertisement -

About Bankrate | Privacy Policy/Your California Privacy Rights | Online Media Kit | Partnerships | Investor Relations | Press Room | Contact Us | Sitemap
NYSE: RATE | RSS Feeds |

* Mortgage rate may include points. See rate tables for details. Click here.
* To see the definition of overnight averages click here.

Bankrate.com ®, Copyright © 2014 Bankrate, Inc., All Rights Reserved, Terms of Use.