HEALTH

Don’t go into debt for your drugs: Price cuts available for prescriptions

Jan 9, 2020, 10:30 AM | Updated: Apr 6, 2020, 9:03 am
The rising cost of prescription drugs has some Utah families going to an "underground network" in o...
The rising cost of prescription drugs has some Utah families going to an "underground network" in order to afford their medication. (IMAGE: KSL Newsradio)
(IMAGE: KSL Newsradio)

 Listen:

“How do you go from $4,000 to $10 bucks a month?”

This isn’t a rhetorical question, rather a personal statement of disbelief. All over Utah everyday people are paying thru the nose for prescription medication they need just to stay alive.

Remember Megan from South Salt Lake?

“I was diagnosed with a disease awhile back and was told that one of my drugs was going to be a $4,000-plus co-pay,” she explains.

Like most people, that wasn’t an option. So instead she started a conversation with her pharmacist.

“She said, alright maybe we can find something for you,” Megan explains. “So come in with your W-2’s, maybe we have some sort of scholarship.

As it turns out, it was only a matter of days before she received a life-altering phone call.

“She said, I found a coupon,” says Megan. “She says you’re going to pay ten dollars a month. I was like, what!”

As it turns out, we don’t even need to leave the KSL building to find examples of prescription prices being slashed.

Dave Noriega from Dave & Dujanovic recently found himself with an astronomical bill.

“A medicine that one of my kids needs is $35,000 a year,” he says.

The drug he was paying for was for his son’s eczema.

“We were able to use it for a short period, but at the same time, I can’t afford $35,000,” says Noriega.

Dave and his wife eventually reached out to their doctor that prescribed the medication and simply asked, “What can we do?”

That doctor then reached out to the manufacturer and had the Noriega’s bring in documents to verify tax history and income.

Shortly afterward they found out they would be receiving the drug for an entire year absolutely free.

That’s $35,000 down to nothing.

These are extreme savings that show the first bill, in most cases, is not what you should be paying.

While it’s not always going to be a one-hundred-percent discount, there are significant cuts available right at your fingertips.

The “GoodRx” medical app collects prices and discounts across tens-of-thousands of pharmacies and allows you to print free coupons.

The government also has agencies in place to help with this very thing.

Representative Norm Thurston from Provo is the former director of Utah’s Office of Health Care Statistics.

Community health centers [are] another resource,” explains Thurston. “If you’re low-income and don’t have access to an endocrinologist or primary care provider, become one of their patients. They can help you get insulin at lower prices.”

Tomorrow we’ll hear about Representative Thurston’s ideas on how to save Utahns money and also learn about a local non-profit that’s looking to flip the pharmaceutical system on its head.

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Don’t go into debt for your drugs: Price cuts available for prescriptions