Prescription drug prices continue to climb, hurting patients with and without health insurance, according to TMJ4, a Milwaukee-based news outlet.

We have been seeing a lot of prescription drug prices going up, taking a toll on the healthcare system.

So far this month, over 650 prescription drugs have seen a price hike, including both brand name and generic drugs, according to GoodRx, an American healthcare company that tracks prescription drug prices.

In January 2021, GoodRx report that the prices of more than 800 medications went up, which suggests that the price hikes are trending similarly to previous years.

On average, the price hikes in 2022 are anywhere from about 5% to 10%, according to GoodRx.

Tori Marsh, Director of Research, GoodRx, said, “Unfortunately, there’s no rhyme or reason as to why other than medications just continue to get more expensive.”

Only a few generic drugs have seen a price jump, such as calcium acetate, paclitaxel, and gentamicin. However, most of them are brand-name drugs, such as Qnasl, Eliquis, Oxycontin, Camptosar, Ibrance, among others. Some branded drugs are available in generics but others do not have generic alternatives.

Marsh said, “While few people are taking them, those who are are really getting hit with high price hikes. With insurance, January is the time when people are exposed to a lot because their deductible has reset. So, they really have no shielding from their insurance.”

She said if you want to save money, first check whether there is a generic alternative for your brand-name drug. 

March also encouraged patients to shop around since drug prices may vary from drugstore to drugstore.

You can go through websites like GoodRx and Blink Health to check the prices, which can even help you find some discounts.

Some pharma companies offer you coupons if your prescription has one, which can save you money.

Another way of saving is to see whether you qualify for Patient Assistance Programs (PAP), which are usually sponsored by pharmaceutical manufacturers, are promoted as a “safety net” for Americans with or without health insurance. If you are eligible for PAP, you can get your medication for little or no cost at all.