If you haven’t noticed it lately, prescription medications, that is, those medicines prescribed by a physician and purchased at the drug store, have gone up in price. They haven’t just gone up by a few pennies or a dime or a quarter – some of them have increased in price up to 50%. One man’s blood pressure medicine increased in price from $10 up to $15. Now, that may not seem to be a lot for some of us out there, but to him it was a shock because he didn’t have the money right then and there and he had to go borrow it and then come back and get his prescription.
Another person’s pain pills went through the roof and many drugs like Abilify for depression, Crestor for high cholesterol and Lyrica for nerve pain have doubled in price over the last few years. What’s a person to do? Good question, Billy! Maybe these people who have been taken advantage of and have been tied to their prescriptions for years should try something else. Any ideas, anyone? Well, perhaps they should do what many people in states that have legalized marijuana have done. Maybe they should try medical cannabis to see if it can help them with their maladies and maybe, just maybe, it might help them with their monthly prescription costs also.
Medicare reported recently that in states that have legalized medical cannabis, the number of prescriptions for ailments such as anxiety, depression and chronic pain have decreased markedly. This incredible news was topped only by the numbers that Medicare threw out. When patients used medical cannabis instead of paying the hefty and highly inflated prices for their regular pharmaceuticals, Medicare says that it saved around $165 million in 2013. That’s a lot of pills not being ingested by John Q. Public! Medicare figures that if pot, medical marijuana, that is, was legal in all the states in this country, it would save over $470 million in prescription costs for its members.
Of course, these numbers look high to us, just like the $15 price tag for the guy’s blood pressure meds looked high to him. The $165 million savings in one year is really only a drop in the bucket when compared to the multi-billion dollar haul that prescription sales bring in annually. However, this is hopeful news. As we’ve seen, we are moving ever closer to the day when all states legalize pot and when the DEA faces the truth – that marijuana is a medicine and not a worthless and deadly drug like other Schedule 1 listings are considered to be. That day is getting closer and closer.