You may have noticed that when you or a friend go to different pharmacies to fill the same prescription, one pharmacy charges more than the other one for the same drug, sometimes just by a few dollars, sometimes by hundreds. The consequences of this illegal practice are detrimental to consumers, but this is part of what makes the pharmaceuticals industry a huge part of the healthcare industry. It is one of the most profitable markets in the United States, expected to be worth $685.45 billion by 2023.
Here are three reasons why drug pricing varies between different pharmacies:
Lack of Transparency
Drug pricing in the United States is a complex issue. Prices are negotiated between pharmaceutical companies and insurers, which results in drug prices not being transparent to consumers, making it difficult for them to make educated decisions.
Lack of Government Regulation
One of the main issues with this market is a lack of government regulation, which allows for private companies to set prices at will. This problem is compounded by the fact that drug makers often make generic versions of medications, which they can sell at much cheaper prices to consumers than pharmacies offering brand-name medications.
The Cost of Doing Business
The costs of operating a pharmacy business vary from shop to shop. Pharmacies that operate within a pharmacy chain or a pharmacy/drug store combination generally have lower costs due to shared services and purchasing. The costs of operating an independent pharmacy are higher because the independent pharmacy must pay for its employee benefits and healthcare, rent or mortgage, utilities, equipment, supplies, and other expenses.
Furthermore, the cost of purchasing medical supplies such as syringes and needles may vary from one state to the other. Similarly, dispensing fees may vary from person to person, and pharmaceutical companies’ might offer rebates and discounts depending on the number of prescriptions filled that could get passed down to the customer.
Get Professional Assistance Now
The Rx Helper is a patient prescription assistance program for the uninsured that offers prescription assistance programs for seniors and low-income households. We help you find the necessary medication at the best possible price.