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Report Shows U.S Prescription Drug Spending Down
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)--
If you take some kind of prescription medication, chances are good it's a generic that's one of the reasons folks are spending less on prescription drugs for the first time in nearly sixty years.
It's another busy day filling prescriptions at town crest pharmacy but it's what goes into the bottles these days that unusual, more often than not it’s a generic medication.
"If there are no side effects I think it's great to go with the generic,” said Pat Mincer who came in to pick up her prescription.
Pat mincer's insurance as a military dependent requires less expensive generics whenever possible saving both the insurer and Pat money
That's exactly what the new report finds.
Overall for the first time in 58 years Americans spent less on prescription drugs than the previous year, and a big part of that is due generic drug sales.
"Pharmacists are working with the patients and the prescribers to make sure that they are on the most cost effect therapy as well,” said Randy McDonough owner of Town Crest Pharmacy.
McDonough says generics being are now a higher percentage of what his pharmacy fills for folks who use his service.
The report also found that the inability of many to afford healthcare has forced them to forgo doctor visits, medicines and many other important treatments
It also attributes part of the drop to the economy noting fewer prescriptions have been filled as people face tough family budgets.
Mcdonough says that's something he's not seen.
"We maintained prescriptions as far as the number of prescriptions we filled so we didn't notice that there was a drop,” he said.
For most people, it seems as long as the medication works, it doesn't matter what it's called, or who makes it.
"Just because of the cost of course...because the regular drug is so expensive,” said Lynn Parsons who stopped by to pick up her prescription.
One alarming note in the report is that for the second straight year the number of hospital emergency room visits spiked because people said they didn't have the money to go to a personal physician.