The Impact Rising Medication Costs Is Having On Our Seniors
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The Impact Rising Medication Costs Is Having On Our Seniors

As we age, our bodies eventually wear down and we often need help maintaining the health we once had. According to the National Council on Aging, approximately 80% of seniors have at least one chronic disease and 68% have at least two chronic diseases. Among the most common chronic diseases impacting seniors are hypertension (high blood pressure), arthritis, and diabetes – all of which typically require medication to manage and control. However, many seniors are having trouble balancing the rising costs of medication and their limited, fixed incomes. Without the medication they need, an individual’s quality of life is often reduced and the ability of the senior to continue living actively and independently is threatened. Here are a few things you should know about the cost of medications and how it impacts seniors:  

Prescription Drug Costs For Seniors

Seniors’ medications are covered under a Medicare Part D plan. These plans can be purchased separately from the senior’s health insurance coverage if they remain on Original Medicare with a Medicare Supplement. However, many seniors enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan (also known as Medicare Part C) which is a replacement of Original Medicare, and these plans typically include the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan in them.

When a senior is put in a position where they need multiple medications, or they have an expensive medication there is no alternative for, they often find themselves in a position where the costs of their medications are not covered under their Medicare Part D plan, or their share of the cost is still expensive even with the coverage. According to the annual AARP Public Policy Institute Report, the price of the prescription medications most commonly used by seniors is increasing at a faster rate each year than what the rate of inflation is increasing. For example, in 2017 prescription costs were raised 8.4% while inflation only accounted for a 2.1% increase. Unfortunately, the rising costs of medications is a major factor in the growing number of seniors who are filing for bankruptcy.

Why Prescription Costs Are Often High

The question on many people’s minds is “why are prescription drug costs so high in the U.S., especially when compared to prescription costs in other countries.” According to research by The Initiative for Medicines, Access and Knowledge (I-MAK) on the costs of the most popular prescription drugs on the market, many of their findings point to U.S. patent laws as being a key factor in the rising costs of prescription drugs throughout the U.S. This is because the prescription drug manufacturers have used the U.S. patent system to strategically maximize the time they can maintain a monopoly on their drug and on different compounds of the drug. Every patent that is taken out on a specific medication extends the time in which the manufacturer can maintain control over that drug. This means the manufacturer can maximize their profits by setting the cost for the prescription as high as they can because no other manufacturer can offer an equivalent generic prescription.

Senior Living At Mease Manor

At Mease Manor Retirement Community we are committed to helping every one of our residents access the care and treatment they need to maintain the best quality of life possible. We have options to meet every senior living need – from independent living to assisted living, we provide the best senior living options in the Palm Harbor area. Contact us online or call us at 727-738-3000 to schedule your personal tour today!