Costs for prescription drugs have risen dramatically over the past decade in Georgia while people struggling to pay for medications have little idea as to why.

In recent years, Georgia residents and their insurers have spent more on prescription drugs and for out-of-pocket medication costs not covered by health plans than most states in the U.S., according to several studies. Georgia joined every other state in the country in witnessing a trend of both more people filling prescriptions under Medicare and steep cost increases for those drugs between 2013 and 2019, rounding out to an 89% hike in Georgia's drug costs during that time, according to federal data.

Medicare and other health plans cover most prescription-drug costs to keep them affordable, but many low-income Georgia residents and seniors on fixed incomes still struggle to make up the difference for what’s not covered – leaving many people to choose between paying for medications or buying groceries.

Meanwhile, the root causes for why drug prices have soared in recent years remains largely unknown, shielded behind certain carve-outs in state law and a complex system of behind-the-scenes price negotiations that many patient advocates blame for the rising costs.

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