With prices of $5 to $7,500 for an entire pill, online pharmacies are gaining traction.
But they are not always what they seem.
In fact, some doctors say there is a growing problem with prescription drugs that are not available in pharmacies.
Here are 10 ways prescription drugs are becoming more and more affordable:1.
More than 1 million people are paying for their medications online.
In 2016, there were over 2.5 million people who paid for their prescriptions online, according to the latest numbers from Avalere Health, a pharmacy consulting company.
The average cost of a prescription online in 2017 was $14.70, up from $11.10 in 2016, according.
It’s the most recent year for which Avalere has data.
The data is from the Pharmacy Benefit Management Association, which tracks the cost of prescription drugs across the country.
In 2018, the number of people who reported being able to pay online has jumped to more than 4.5 percent, according the Pharmacies for Profit Coalition, which advocates for the industry.
The coalition is pushing to make the cost-sharing requirement for those who want to purchase prescription drugs more reasonable, as well as to allow consumers to make payments for their medication online.
It’s not just online pharmacies that are seeing a rise in prices.
Other pharmacy benefit management programs, such as the American Pharmacists Association’s online pharmacy benefit manager, are seeing the same trend.
The group’s online database shows that more than 1.1 million Americans are paying online to purchase medication.
But the numbers for online pharmacies may not be as large.
The Pharmacy Benefits Management Association (PBMRA), a trade group for pharmacy benefit managers, says it has no data on the percentage of people buying online prescriptions, nor how many people pay online, for example, to pay for a prescription for a drug such as EpiPen.
But PBMRA executive director Marc Richey says that’s not surprising because the industry is not always transparent about how much is going on.
“We are constantly trying to make sure that we are making sure that the information is accurate,” Richeys said.
“I can’t say that the majority of consumers are paying with a credit card or by using a credit union.”
That transparency, and the industry’s willingness to take responsibility for it, have led some doctors to worry about patients becoming confused when they visit a pharmacy with a prescription, which could cause an unnecessary overdose.
Richey said many doctors are wary of charging patients for medication when they are still unsure of how much their prescription is worth.
He said he has also heard patients complaining about people offering them more money than they need.
“If I think there is something wrong with that, I would certainly look into that,” he said.
The rise in online prescriptions may be partly due to a shortage of prescription drug manufacturers, which have struggled to stay afloat.
According to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the global pharmaceutical industry has shrunk from $1.5 trillion in 2013 to $872 billion in 2017.
Some companies have stopped making drugs, such the company maker Amgen, or stopped producing some drugs altogether.
While there is still room for growth in the pharmaceutical industry, Richeies worries that it is becoming too crowded and that the industry may be losing money.
He says there may be fewer doctors and pharmacies willing to provide online pharmacy benefits, making it harder for people to make a payment and saving the industry more money.
“I’m worried about the impact on patient safety and the impact it has on the pharma industry as a whole,” Rix said.