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BIG PHARMA POLITICS: Consumers pressure politicians to do something about rising drug prices. Read More

Check the fine print for your prescription drugs costs

Big profits for big pharmaRising costs for prescription medication create stress for almost everyone and are especially daunting for those living on fixed budgets.

Many consumers do not understand how and why their prescriptions cost as much as they do. A new report by STAT News highlights recent efforts by the pharmaceutical industry to disclose the prices of their drugs. They found that the industry’s efforts were misleading.

For example, Pfizer’s website claims that 52 percent of insured patients pay less than $20 for their arthritis drug, Xeljanz. Yet the fine print reveals a different story: 14 percent of consumers pay more than $200, and those that pay more than $200 paid $1,167.47 on average.

The takeaway for Voices for Affordable Health readers: Check the fine print when you buy medications. Pharmaceutical companies can hide details about their drug prices there.

Doing the research and staying informed about the health care industry can yield huge savings – even though it shouldn’t be that way.

Has a health issue prompted you to grow your knowledge about the business and politics of healthcare? Share your insight with Voices for Affordable Health.