When it comes to health care expenses, doctor’s appointments and medical procedures can really add up but some of the largest medical costs your family incurs are from prescription drugs. Over the years though price transparency has evolved and many cost saving opportunities have risen to popularity. Employers have taken steps to make Flexible Spending Accounts available to their employees to help pay for medical expenses like prescriptions and patients can also opt to choose the generic versions of their drugs to keep costs low.
However, the most important thing patients can do to keep drug costs down is price shop and compare the costs of their prescriptions at different pharmacies and online. If you are taking one of the top 10 most popular monthly prescriptions, with a little research you will probably find that you could be saving much more.
Read More: Why It’s So Hard to Find Health Care Costs Online
The top 10 medications by number of monthly prescriptions are:
- Synthroid (levothyroxine), 21.5M – Treats hypothyroidism, enlarged thyroid glands and thyroid cancer.
- Crestor (rosuvastatin), 21.4M – Lowers high cholesterol and triglyceride levels to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke or blood vessel issues
- VentolinHFA (albuterol), 18.2M – Inhaler used to prevent brochospasams
- Nexium (esomeprazole), 15.2M – Acid reflux medication
- Advair Diskus (fluticasone), 13.7M – prevents wheezing and shortness of breath caused by asthma or lung disease
- LantusSolostar (insulin glargine), 10.9M – controls high blood sugar in people with diabetes
- Vyvanse(lisdexamfetamine), 10.4M – used to treat ADHD, increases ability to pay attention, stay focused and stop fidgeting
- Lyrica(pregabalin), 10.0M – treats pain caused by nerve damage due to diabetes or shingles
- SpirivaHandihaler (tiotropium), 9.6M – treats wheezing, shortness of breath caused by ongoing lung disease such as; COPD, bronchitis or emphysema
- Januvia(sitagliptin), 9.1M – controls high blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes
Interestingly enough, the most popular monthly prescriptions and the top 10 prescriptions by sales are not the same. This means that the prescriptions listed below, while not as popular, are likely much more expensive. If you are taking on of the prescriptions below, don’t forget to ask about generic options and to search for more affordable drugs online.
The top 10 meds by sales are:
- Humira (adalimumab), $8.2B – Treats arthritis and Crohn disease
- Abilify (aripiprazole), $7.9B – Treats schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression
- Sovaldi(sofosbuvir), $6.9B – Helps to treat hepatitis C virus infection
- Crestor (rosuvastatin), $5.9B – Lowers high cholesterol and triglyceride levels to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke or blood vessel issues
- Enbrel(etanercept), $5.9B – Treats rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and plaque psoriasis in adults
- Harvoni(ledipasvir and sofosbuvir), $5.3B – Used to treat hepatitis C
- Nexium (esomeprazole), $5.3B – Acid reflux medication
- Advair Diskus (fluticasone), $4.7B – prevents wheezing and shortness of breath caused by asthma or lung disease
- Lantus Solostar (insulin glargine), $4.7B – controls high blood sugar in people with diabetes
- Remicade(infliximab), $4.6B – Treats rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, Crohn disease, plaque psoriasis and ulcerative colitis.
Data found Via WebMD