How to save money with rising prescription drug costs - KCTV5

How to save money with rising prescription drug costs

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Prescription drug costs are on the rise. (BigStock) Prescription drug costs are on the rise. (BigStock)
FAIRWAY, KS (KCTV) -

Prescription drug costs are on the rise.

For three years in a row, prices have jumped about 10-percent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports about half of Americans have taken a prescription in the past month. One in five use three or more prescriptions every month. But there is a way to cost the costs.

RX Savings Solutions is a newer company in Overland Park. Founder and pharmacist Michael Rea shared his top secrets and why he started his company.

“It's when I thought to myself, 'OK, I see this every single day. People are struggling. They need help. What can I do to try to help them?' That's when I launched RX Savings Solutions," Rea said.

Here are some simple tips that could save you money:

  • Ask for a generic don’t assume your doctor prescribed one
  • Ask if there is a different medication that could achieve the same desired effect
  • Ask about “tablet splitting” have the doctor prescribe the same medication at twice the dose and have the patient “split the pill”
  • Compare prices at different pharmacies, you may be surprised
  • Change forms- ask what that same medication costs as a pill, capsule or liquid
  • Search for a manufacture copay

Rea says his plan saved his first “client” more than $3,000 a year.

Betty was a patient at his pharmacy, and she asked which medications she could skip. Rea spent more than six hours on the computer and discovered Betty could afford all of her medications and save money.

Rea designed a software system to duplicate what he did for Betty.

RX Solutions notifies patients through emails and text messages if there is a cheaper way to treat a patient’s condition. It’s a few clicks, but the savings could be worth it.

RX Solutions works with large companies and health insurance plans to save members money. Rea shared tips realizing many people don’t have access to his software and some careful legwork and questions can yield similar benefits.

Rea points out he’s the founder and a customer. A doctor prescribed him a cream for a mysterious rash. It was more than $100.

Rea's phone dinged to warn him of the cost and that his software found a solution - ask the doctor to order two creams and rub them together. It was the same medication just in two tubes.

Rea points out by removing two caps, he only paid $6.17. It was a 94-percent savings.

Prescriptions are like travel

Rea says think of prescription medication like travel.

You want to get somewhere and there are many ways to do that. There are different prices for different routes. Of course, a person can jump on a search engine to check airline tickets but there’s really nothing that helps you do that with medication.

Most of us go to a doctor, who then prescribes a medication without knowing an actual price. And that’s because different insurance companies charge different prices.

“The physician or prescriber doesn’t have visibility to the cost. It is really lacking and really it's very important to put someone on a medication and that they be able to afford it and take it as prescribed,” Rea said.

It’s like we are all being offered travel plans without a search engine like Expedia or Travelocity to offer options.

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