Now that the 2022 plans and prices are available on Medicare.gov we have an opportunity to see what Medicare reports as the retail price on prescription drugs. Every year we find new and exciting examples of seniors being taken advantage of through pharmaceutical over pricing. Remember that the Retail price reported by Medicare is the retail price of the drug reported to them by the pharmaceutical company. Medicare is not allowed to question that price, shop that price or offer alternative pricing. This is the law passed by congress that took effect in 2006 and was written with the help of the pharmaceutical companies.
There have been attempts to allow the government to negotiate on behalf of seniors but there is a strong lobby protecting special interests. All attempts to change the status quo have failed for 15 years. A recent example is Levothyroxine Sodium which is the generic version of Synthroid.
The Medicare price for 30 pills is $152.48 but a check of GoodRx shows that you can get the same number of pills for $4 at Walmart. Why is Medicare 38 times higher that the street price? Seniors who don't shop their drugs will be taken advantage of by their government. Medicare has many rules in place to protect seniors but they fall short where big pharma is concerned. Caveat Emptor is the lesson here - let the buyer beware or more appropriately be aware. Know the street price of your drug before you go to the pharmacy. Be prepared to demand a fair price even if it means paying cash instead of a copay. When paying cash realize that any amount you spend will not count towards your total drug expenditure for the year which may make it more expensive to enter into the catastrophic level of coverage provided for under part D of Medicare.