Blood pressure medication costs can add up, becoming a burden to individuals as well as to governments and health care providers
In the medical field, high blood pressure is known as one of the most expensive conditions the United States and the world in general is struggling with. Anyone who has been prescribed blood pressure medication probably doesn’t have to be told that twice.
Blood pressure medication costs can add up, becoming a burden to individuals as well as to governments and health care providers. Here is a breakdown of hypertension medication costs as well as how they can get worse, and how they could possibly get better.
Blood pressure medication costs
A comprehensive study conducted by Duke University in 2011 broke down blood pressure treatment costs by category: angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, or ACEIs, angiotensin II receptor blockers, or ARBs, and direct renin inhibitor, or DRIs. These are the three most common types of blood pressure medication. ACEIs, ARBs and DRIs are all drugs that come in pill form. ACEIs and ARBs have been found to reduce blood pressure and protect the kidneys roughly the same amount. DRIs are a new type of blood pressure medication, and their effect on blood pressure compared to ACEIs and ARBs haven’t been adequately studied.
All three categories of medication can be costly. ACEIs cost between $50 and $170 for a one-month supply while ARB prices range from $65 to $135 for a one-month supply. There is only one type of
DRI, and it generally costs $100/month.
Beyond blood pressure medication costs
There’s a reason that prior to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, hypertension used to be one of the biggest factors in being turned down for health care coverage. According to the Center for Disease Control, in 2010 high blood pressure cost the United States $93.5 billion in medications, services and missed work days.
The toll high blood pressure takes on the health care system extends far beyond that $93.5 billion, unfortunately. Since high blood pressure can cause heart disease, heart failure, kidney failure, stroke, dementia, and eye damage, among other conditions, it ultimately places a nearly unfathomable strain on the health care system.
How to reduce your blood pressure medication costs
If you’re shelling out each month for medication in order to help keep your blood pressure under control, we don’t blame you for looking for ways to defray that cost. Our first recommendation is that you talk to your doctor. Some ACEI and ARB medications have generic versions that are much cheaper than the brand names. Furthermore, if you aren’t already on a diuretic to help lower your blood pressure, bring it up with your doctor. Diuretics have been found to be very effective in some patients, and they are a lower-cost medication alternative to ACEIs, ARBs and DRIs.
An option for lowering hypertension medication costs is to consider investing in a non-medical device that lowers blood pressure by lowering stress. The RESPeRATE device generally retails for between $250 and $300 for a lightweight headset, a breathing sensor and small control unit. This is a one-time cost for a system that will last for years and has results proven in medical studies, including one conducted by Dr. William J. Elliott at Rush University that found frequent users of RESPeRATE to have a 15 point drop in blood pressure. Other well-reviewed personal stress relievers
include the HeartMath EmWave.
Consider making some lifestyle changes that will reduce your blood pressure as well. These lifestyle changes include eating a low-sodium diet that includes lots of lean protein, healthy fruits and vegetables, and dietary fiber, as well as partaking in regular exercise.
RESPeRATE is the only non-drug therapy cleared by the FDA for the treatment of high blood pressure and the reduction of stress. It is the first medical device that has been clinically proven to lower blood pressure.