ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Prices for prescription drugs that Medicare insurance customers buy are going up drastically nationwide and are affecting patients in Southwest Georgia.
"They had a thing for me to get a brace to go around my neck and it costed $170, I didn't have no insurance to pay it," said insurance customer Paul Brown.
Until recently, Brown didn't have insurance, and now that he does, he's still struggling to get surgery, medication and a brace for a spine and neck injury.
Dr. Beau Sinyard at U-Save-It Pharmacy said that some may struggle because Pharmacy Benefit Managers negotiate prices of drugs, causing the majority of the money that patients pay to go directly to PBM as a middleman.
"Pharmacy Benefit Managers are really recouping a lot of the money when it comes to those increased prescription drug costs," said Dr. Sinyard.
Sinyard said that 78 percent of the healthcare market is controlled by the middleman and patients could see an increase in next year's deductibles and premiums.
"So if medicines continue to rise in price, even though a patient may be able to get it this entire year when it comes time for next year, that plan may not choose to keep that medicine on there due to rising drug costs," explained Sinyard.
Now, U-Save-It Pharmacy is taking the issue to DC.
"We obviously voice our opinion strongly with our legislators on the state level and national level," said Dr. Sinyard.
As for doctors in the area, they said there's help for those who need it.
"There are some programs out there that can help patients. So, a lot of times we spend time after work or between patients going on different websites looking for prescription programs that can help," said Dr. Derek Heard with Phoebe Primary Care of Albany.
Both doctors agree that if you struggle with paying for medications and treatments it's important for you to be upfront so they can work together to get you on a tailored plan.