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The Top 5 Ways to Spend Less on Prescriptions

The Top 5 Ways to Spend Less on Prescriptions
The Top 5 Ways to Spend Less on Prescriptions
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Most of us, when we want to buy something, shop around for the best deal. But for some reason, when it comes to medicines, we don’t.  And there’s absolutely no earthly reason why buying medicine is different than buying anything else.  Here are my top five tips on how to save money when shopping for a prescription:

  1. Generics are as good as brand names and are cheaper. ALWAYS ask if a generic is available. I do.
  2. Pill splitting. Basically you get a higher dose pill and cut it in two. Saves on copays turning a three-month supply into six months. Also, for some reason best known to God, some higher dose pills are cheaper than lower dose pills of the same medicine. Go figure. Doesn’t work on coated pills or time release pills so don’t do it.
  3. Coupons. Ask your pharmacist if there is a coupon available for your medicine. They work exactly like coupons you use everyday in the supermarket.  Use them. They’ll save you money.
  4. Patient assistance program: You may appeal directly to the drug company. Tell them of your financial plight and why you need their drug. This applies, especially, to horrendously expensive chemo drugs or newer anti-viral agents like Sovaldi for Hepatitis C.
  5. Shop around.  Let me say it again: SHOP AROUND. It’ll save you big bucks. Costco, Wal-Mart and Target are frequently cheaper than your local corner chain pharmacy by a country mile. BTW, you don’t have to be a member of Costco to use their pharmacy but they will insist you pay cash. Trust me it’s worth it.

 

Finally, how not to save money is as important as how to save. Don’t skip a dose or take a “drug holiday” i.e. no meds for your hypertension or diabetes for three months. That’s dumb. You’ll end up sick, forcing you into a costly ER visit or your disease will silently worsen, setting you up for major problems down the road.  Not worth it.  Don’t do it.

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