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The Top 8 Things You Believe About Drugs That Are WRONG

The Top 8 Things You Believe About Drugs That Are WRONG
The Top 8 Things You Believe About Drugs That Are WRONG
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1)   Brand name drugs are more expensive because they are better.  Simply not true. Generic drugs are every bit as effective as brand name drugs. The FDA wouldn’t allow it any other way.  By the way, generics could be cheaper too but please don’t get me started…

2)   Newer drugs are always best. Simply not true. Most “new drugs” are variations of existing medications.  Think regular Coca Cola versus Coca Cola with lime.  Essentially the same sugary, fizzy water but with lime “flavor.”  In the medical world, drug companies pull off similar tricks to extend patents and make more money off you.  The essential active ingredient is the same so don’t fall for it.  Go with the tried and true.

3)   This new drug must be better than the one my doctor prescribed because I saw it on the television.  Nope.  Definitely not.  Truly unique drugs sell themselves and don’t need huge TV advertising budgets.  Think Viagra, the original erectile dysfunction (ED) drug, when it first came out in the late 90’s.  It was absolutely a new class of drug and it sold by the gallon.  Now you see lots of adds for ED drugs because they’re all variations on a theme. There isn’t a huge difference between them so they have to advertise.

4)   I’ll save money if my doc gives me a sample, so I only have to buy enough to finish the course. Sadly, no you won’t. Usually the samples the doc has are the newer, heavily advertised drugs, meaning you’ll pay more to complete the course than if you simply buy the full course of older tried-and-true drug.

5)   My doctor, whom I think is great, prescribed it so I must need it. Your doc is great, but she’s busy and sometimes may reach for the prescription pad to prescribe her way out of a difficult conversation with you. There’s no doc alive, who hasn’t done it. And nowadays, in the age where patient satisfaction scores dictate a doc’s take-home pay… you get what I mean. So, ask your physician some questions. For example, would diet and exercise make a difference so I don’t have to take a pill? If the answer is yes and you go that route, put a timeline on it. If things aren’t fixed in, say, three to six months, it’s time to take the pill!

6)   If my doctor prescribed it for my pain I can’t get addicted, right?  Sadly, absolutely untrue.  We have a huge problem in America with addiction to prescription opiates and it affects all ages from the young to the elderly.  Doctor prescribed painkillers like vicodin, Oxycontin or Dilaudid, to name a few among the many, cause 70% of all overdose deaths in the country—way more than illegal drugs.  DCOC advice: if you have a pain problem, take the smallest dose for the shortest period of time.

7)   My doc gave me a prescription, so I have to go the pharmacy in the same building as her office or the drugstore I always go to and get it filled. Truth is, your doc doesn’t care where you go to shop as long as you take the medicine. So my advice: Shop around until you find the cheapest price. Telephone multiple pharmacies and simply say that you’re looking for a price check on a 30-day supply of whatever. And don’t forget to price check on the Internet for hardware items such as nebulizer machines, wheelchairs or splints. “Buying” a prescription is no different than shopping for shoes or a tech gadget – you want to find the retailer with the best deal.

8)   Is it cheaper to buy prescription drugs online?  Prescription meds can be very expensive. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean buying your meds from un-licensed online pharmacies is a good idea.  The main issue is quality control.  There is none.  Don’t do it.  Hardware items like nebulizer machines for breathing treatments or walkers for older folks are different.  They can be bought on line because if there’s a problem with them you can easily see it.  Problems with pills or other medicines are not so easily seen.

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