Why 50 Million People Can't Afford the Medicine They Need
Medications are today’s modern miracle. Drug pricing is today’s modern mystery.
The average American spends more than $1,200 each year on drugs prescribed by their doctors. Whether you or a loved one has a chronic condition such as diabetes, or has undergone treatment for a major illness such as cancer, you’ve probably been confronted with the astronomically high cost of medicine. And for many Americans—50 million, in fact—those high costs can mean going without needed prescriptions.
Betr is here to make drug purchasing more attainable and, well, better. Not only do you purchase remedies for what ails you, you also assist in getting medicines for others who are in need. This is our mission, and why we do things the way we do—we believe everyone should have access to what they need to feel well.
Medication Pricing is Complicated
Prescription medication prices are determined by many things: the “channel” you use to obtain medicines; the kind of company that's making the medicine; and even the age of the medicine itself.
Even though the majority of drug costs are paid by private insurance (who can negotiate better prices from drug companies for their wide consumer base), Medicare or Medicaid, some 14% of the $333 billion pharmaceutical market is paid by consumers out-of-pocket. Drug prices rose more than three times faster than the rate of inflation over the course of a decade, according to the first analysis to report trends in net drug costs published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Medications are often expensive because of the high cost of developing and marketing new drugs, lack of competition in certain medicine categories, and the fact that the U.S. has no drug price regulation. New drugs are typically the most expensive, because drug companies want to recover their research and development costs. Older drugs that haven’t had much competition over the years have been subject to significant price increases as well. Insulin, discovered a century ago to treat Type 1 diabetes, saw prices almost double in just the five-year period between 2012 and 2016, according to the nonprofit Health Care Cost Institute. Drug makers argue they need to raise list prices of their older medications to help offset the research and development for new drugs and to pay for steep rebates they must offer to get them covered by insurance plans.
All this comes together to mean high costs for consumers. And when people don’t have the money to buy the meds they need they often resort to reducing dosage, without telling their doctor, or many just skip their medicines entirely.
There’s a Betr Way
We don’t think anyone should have to go without needed medications, or make big sacrifices to afford them. That’s why our give-back partnership is at the core of our business—we make it simpler to shop for the medications you need and create a steady flow of prescription medications for those in need.
For every Betr over-the-counter medicine bundle you buy, we provide one prescription medication to a person in need, working with our nonprofit partner to redistribute unused medications to underserved communities. You’ll feel better by using our medication and so will others, thanks to you and your purchase.
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Percentage of drugs paid by private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid
Changes in List Prices, Net Prices, and Discounts for Branded Drugs in the US, 2007-2018
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