Keeping Big Pharma in check: Alternatives for the average consumer

healthcareFor the better part of the last decade, the topic that tops the list of social and political debates has been the out-of-control cost of healthcare, which includes Big Pharma if you want to be accurate. Not only are hospitals and doctors charging more than the average patient (or healthcare insurer) can afford to pay but Big Pharma has its hand in the pot as well. The cost of so many newly marketed (and patented) prescription medications is outrageous, but in some circumstances, it is possible to keep even Big Pharma in check. There may be alternatives for the average consumer, but first, you need to know what you are looking for.

Staying Informed Is the Key to Affordable Alternatives

Before looking at the cost of some of Big Pharma’s highest price pharmaceuticals, let’s talk about how you can often find alternatives that are just as effective. Besides asking your pharmacist if there is a generic, which many insurance companies require anyway, you can always go online to see if there are other kinds of treatments available. In fact, many health-conscious people in the United States, as well as abroad, choose alternative medicine over Big Pharma whenever possible.

From herbs to acupuncture to chiropractic manipulations, you don’t always ‘need’ a medication to relieve pain, nausea or other ailments which aren’t life-threatening. But what about those which are? How can you fight Big Pharma when they hold the patent, which hasn’t been released for generic production yet? You can always read reviews on alternative medications you’ve found on sites like gradedreviews.com to see if other people have found success with different medications available in generic form.

Why Consumers Are So Outraged

As noted by CNBC last May (2017), some drugs are priced unreasonably high even for newly patented products. They’ve taken into consideration the cost of R&D, manufacturing, and profiting investors, but even then, the costs are unreal. They cite the example of Duraprim, which went from costing $13.50 per dose to over $700 literally overnight! Then, in response to outraged critics, the price went down 50% to $375 per dose, but even that is ludicrous.

What about Epi-Pens? Just a decade ago, a two-pack of Epi-Pens cost consumers just about $90. As of last year, the price had jumped to over $600. As CNBC reports, that has resulted in a class-action lawsuit, but at this time the outcome is yet to be divulged on that site. And, these are just two of the top 10 most costly drugs on the market at the moment. While Duraprim is limited to AIDS patients and for transplant recipients, Epi-Pens and other expensive drugs are for the general population and so the cost is even harder to swallow.

Just know that there are alternatives. Sometimes you can get by without a pharmaceutical product of any kind and other times you can find an alternative in a generic form that will accomplish the same thing. It may not be the same chemical formulation, but it may be developed for the same diagnosis. There are ways to keep Big Pharma in check, so learn how and when you can fight back. Arm yourself with information and the war gets easier. It’s working for tens of millions of others and it can for you. Are you ready to do battle yet? Join the fight!

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