As we turn the corner on 2017 it’s time to look at this year’s most prescribed drugs, what they are used to treat, and how much they cost. This data can provide insight as to some of the most common ailments and what it takes to treat them on an ongoing basis.
With such a range in prescription prices and healthcare coverage plans, it’s important to comparison shop to get the best deals, as well as to make sure your plan covers the prescriptions you use the most.
Used to treat hypothyroidism, Synthroid has been one of the top prescribed drugs for several years and shows no signs of slowing down. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid doesn’t produce enough of the thyroid hormone, and Synthroid is used to fill in that gap. A 30-day supply varies depending on the dosage amount, but averages out to just over $30.
Doctors prescribe Lipitor to help treat high cholesterol as well as high triglyceride levels. It’s a statin that can help with a range of heart problems and symptoms such as angina, heart attacks, and stroke. A 30-day supply of Lipitor tablets, taken orally, costs roughly $140.
#3: Advair Diskus
Used to treat asthma, Advair Diskus is shaped like a disc and is used like a traditional inhaler to provide much-needed relief during an asthma attack or as prevention against one. Usage rates will vary from person to person, depending on the number of times it’s needed per day. One inhaler can cost over $230 for the lowest dosage.
Vicodin is still going strong and is one of the most commonly prescribed pills for pain. Perhaps the biggest threat to using Vicodin is the damage done to the liver, a warning clearly placed on the packaging. Prices for Vicodin can range from $50 to $80 for 30 pills, depending on which pharmacy you go to.
One of the most popular high blood pressure medications of 2017 is Norvasc, a drug whose patent expired in 2007 but is still leading sales charts ten years later. A top seller because of its effectiveness, it’s used to lower blood pressure when other attempts have been unsuccessful. 30 tablets can cost between $30 and $55 dollars, depending on the dosage.
Many forms of Prilosec can be purchased over-the-counter, but there are still some that need a prescription due to their potency. It’s designed to help treat heartburn and GERD, and the stronger dosages would be for the more extreme cases. The cost for Prilosec can range from $15 for a generic OTC variety to over $200 for stronger dosages.
Used to treat type-2 diabetes, Glucophage has shown a lot of promise in the battle against diabetes, as well as the ability to avoid further problems often associated with the disease, such as cancer and heart disease. It can cost over $1 a tablet, and the generic brand is covered by most insurance plans.
Prescription drug prices can obviously be pricey and may come with unwanted side effects. This is the reason many patients are seeking “natural” alternative medications such as medical cannabis, especially for debilitating medical conditions such as those with extreme pain (as is the case with Vicodin) or diabetes (as is the case with Glucophage). However, medical cannabis is not covered by insurance at this time, making the decision one between a cash outlay or reduced side effects for many patients.