Analysis Reveals that Prescription Drugs cost 14% more in San Francisco Compared to National Average
According to an analysis released last month, prescription drugs cost 14 percent more in San Francisco compared to the national average. The analysis was conducted by a Santa Monica company called GoodRx, which is a website that tracks prescription drug prices. New York is the most expensive state for prescription drugs at 16.9 percent above the national average, with San Francisco being the second highest, and Los Angeles the third highest at 9.9 percent. Two other California cities made the top ten for most expensive cities for prescription drugs. These cities are San Diego in fifth place at 6.2 percent and Sacramento in eighth place at 3.2 percent above the national average. Dr. Kevin Schulman, a Stanford health economist and lead author of the study, stated the following regarding the variance in drug costs,
There’s not a lot of transparency at all in the market. Some of the times, the cash prices can be pretty outrageous. They may not at all be related to how much the product actually cost the pharmacy. You might go to your local pharmacy and see the cash price is $100 more than it was at Walmart.
In the report, GoodRx analyzed insurance claims for the 500 most commonly prescribed prescription drugs, both brand names and generics, for 30 cities from April 2018 to March 2019. The findings are based on the cash price for prescription drugs, which is how much a patient would have to pay if they bought it at a pharmacy without insurance or discounts. According to Tori Marsh, who is part of the GoodRx research team that analyzed the report, they couldn’t determine exactly why prescription drugs cost more in some cities compared to others. However, she believes that there appears to be some correlation between a city’s overall cost of living and the cost of drugs there. Which city was the least expensive in the analysis? That distinction goes to Atlanta with prescription drug costs at 20.4 percent below the national average.