Watertree Health® President Provides Statement on Skyrocketing Drug Prices for Retirees
DESTIN, Fla., Jan. 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — As another calendar year begins, many seniors are planning their financial outlay for the next 12 months. This will be a massive source of stress since they live on fixed incomes and they have been experiencing dramatic price increases on their vital medications.
Last month, AARP issued Trends in Retail Prices of Brand Name Prescription Drugs Widely Used by Older Americans, 2006 to 2015. It found that common brand name prescription drugs rose in retail prices – significantly faster than general inflation between 2006 to 2015. Among prescriptions widely used by seniors, including Medicare beneficiaries, retail prices for 268 medicines rose by an average of 15.5 percent from 2014 to 2015. Every month, the average older American took 4.5 prescription drugs – This meant that s/he was confronted with an average annual drug therapy retail cost of over $26,000 in 2015, an amount greater than the median annual income of individual Medicare beneficiaries.
This has resulted in older Americans struggling to pay for the medicines they need. Of note, “maintenance drugs” have seen some of the largest increases in cost. These are the medicines designed to manage common chronic conditions such as diabetes, acid reflux, arthritis, COPD, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Spikes in prices were often more than 5 percent. Even generics, which typically get less expensive over time, have soared in price.
Increases in drug costs for chronic conditions exacerbate pre-existing anxiety that exists among many seniors. Ironically, anti-anxiety medications are the number 1 drug therapy category facing price spikes. Watertree Health President, Shane Power says, “The impact of high drug prices on consumers, especially those in retirement age, has been staggering. People have been forced to spend less on food or pay for their medicine with credit cards. We hear from our community-based representatives that seniors are rationing pills, skipping doses of medicine or just not filling their prescriptions.
My Company’s free prescription discount card can offer some relief – It helps people save up to 75% on thousands of prescription drugs at over 60,000 pharmacies. For example, we offer an almost 50 percent discount on generic versions of prescriptions used by many older Americans such as Nitrostat, Nexium, Celebrex and Crestor.
When seniors are forced to scrimp on prescriptions, not only do they experience poorer health and a poorer quality of life but also increased future health care costs due to repeated hospitalizations that could have been prevented. This is very concerning behavior that needs to be addressed because they deserve to live happy and healthy lives.”
About Watertree Health
Matt Herfield and Ronnie Harris founded Watertree Health to make health care more accessible to everyone. The Company launched a free prescription discount card to address the growing and urgent need for affordable medicines. To further improve the health of people, Watertree Health has forged strategic alliances with Make-A-Wish®, regional Food Banks and recently the ASPCA®. Visit WatertreeHealth.com to learn more.