How Rising Medication Prices Affect the Elderly

July 30th, 2019 by John Wilson

Many seniors suffer from at least one health condition that requires medication. While this is all a normal part of the aging process, those who require elder care in Oklahoma City may begin to feel the crunch when it comes to paying for these medications. Insurance may cover some of the costs, but the rising prices of medication has made it difficult for those in elderly care in OKC to pay for everything. With a fixed income, some seniors are faced with deciding whether to buy groceries for the week or pay for their much-needed medications.

Questionable Pharmaceutical Practices

In the pharmaceutical industry, it’s common for a company to develop a medication to treat a particular illness and then market it for that purpose. When they receive a patent on the formula for the medication, they earn the sole use of that formula for a specific period of time. During this time, pharmaceutical companies can charge high amounts for that drug. However, once this time expires, other manufacturers are able to use the same formula to manufacture generic versions and sell them at a lower rate, helping them make money. Unfortunately, many pharmaceutical companies have found ways to extend these patents by making adjustments to the formula or coming up with additional uses.  This slows down the development of generic alternatives and keeps drug prices higher for everyone, including seniors.

Elderly care services don't have to be overly expensive.

Learn how to cut costs safely with elderly care services.

The Decision to Medicate

Sometimes medications are used as a means to reduce or eliminate symptoms and actually do little to nothing to control or get rid of an ailment. This means those who suffer from it may be able to get by without medications. However, many seniors in elderly care services require medication that can affect whether they live or die. Unfortunately, this means they often have to decide whether to purchase their prescriptions or pay other bills or even buy food. This puts seniors in a dangerous position. Not eating well can have a negative impact on their overall health, which means they are likely to be prescribed even more medications, creating a vicious cycle that is nearly impossible to get out of. The good news is there are things you can do to reduce your medication costs.

What Can You Do?

Talk to your doctor about whether you need to be taking all of your prescribed medications. In some situations, you may no longer need one of them. Some may have been replaced by other drugs or they may no longer benefit you. You can also talk to your pharmacist about generic alternatives to any medications you are taking. In most cases, they won’t automatically replace a name brand with a generic one. You have to ask. Also, shop around. Some pharmacies may offer better deals on certain medications. Most people are unaware of this. Coupons, discounts, supplemental drug insurance, assistance programs and other options may also exist. Talk to friends, relatives, medical professionals, your pharmacist and others about how to find your medication cheaper.

If you’re looking for elderly care services that can ensure your loved one takes their medication as prescribed, contact us. We watch over our residents and make sure they have access to everything they need to live a healthy, productive life.

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