Dos and Don’ts When Reducing Cost of Rx Drugs
If you believe plenty of your money is being spent on prescribed medicines, statistics certainly agree with you. According to statistics, patients as well as insurance companies’ 2008 expenditure on such medicines was $234+ billion, a huge increase from the $40+ million spent in 1990. It is predicted to reach $512+ billion by 2020. So, there is a real need to save on prescription drugs.
With statistics indicating an increase in expenditure on prescription drugs, we ought to know when and when not to save on such drugs.
5 Correct Ways to Save Cost of Medicine
1. Do Find Out More On Generic Options
Normally, you can save a lot with generic medicines. You can find generic replacements for nearly 80 percent of FDA-Approved drugs. These can cost a quarter of the price of branded medicines.
If you find you are using a medicine which is ending its patent soon, you still have to wait half a year to buy its generic version at a cheaper price because drug manufacturer can prevent competition from generic drugs for half a year after the expiry of its patent.
2. Do Split Pills When It Is Safe To Do So
Pill splitting can save the cost of your medications as most pills have almost the same price even when the amount of medicine in the pills are doubled. For instance, for the same medicine, the price of a 180 mg pill can be only slightly more than that of a 90 mg. If your medical practitioner tells you it is safe to split the pill, you can request for a prescription of pills double the dosage you have to take, to allow you to split each pill into two equal halves.
However, you have to realize not every pill is safe to split. According to NeedyMeds’ president, Richard Sagall, coated pills, time-released drugs, and capsules must never be split. He said that the pharmacist is the right person to ask about the safety of splitting a certain drug. Needy Meds, which is a non-profit body situated in Gloucester, Mass, gives information on programs providing financial aid for prescription drugs.
3. Do Discuss With Your Medical Practitioner
Your medical practitioner may not know the price of the medicines prescribed. You should inform your medical practitioner so that a cheaper alternative can be prescribed. By discussing with your medical practitioner, you get to talk about your medications. You may discover that a medicine you have been using for some time may not be necessary anymore. Perhaps, the medicine can be replaced with another cheaper drug.
4. Do Know The Prices
Sagall suggests that patients should find out the prices of their medicines from various pharmacies. After all, prices of medicines at pharmacies can be changed. Even if the pharmacy you buy from has the lowest prices for every medicine except the one you require, you should quietly let the pharmacist know about it to see if it is possible to get a discount on that medicine. Good relationship with the customer is important, especially with one who is regularly purchasing medicine.
5. Do Be Knowledgeable About Patient Assistance Programs
Many companies in the pharmaceutical industry do give big discounts, sometimes free to patients who require such offers. If your medical practitioner has given you an expensive medicine, go to the web site of the company to find out if such help is available. For further information, go to www.NeedyMeds.org , which gives information on nearly 6,000 programs which can assist patients.
How to Save Money on Prescription Medication -Video Guide
5 Wrong Ways to Cut Drug Costs
1. Do NOT Use Medicine Which Is not Yours
Using someone else’s medicine is not the right way to cut costs. Your friend’s medicine may have passed its expiry date. The dosage may not be right and can have negative reaction with another medicine you are using. Furthermore, it is illegal to do so. Remember that your medical practitioner prescribes certain medicines for particular reasons and what is good for your friend may not be good for you.
2. Do NOT Be Influenced By Well-advertised Brands
There was a time patients depend upon their doctors decision on the right medicines for them through knowledge given to doctors by pharmaceutical companies. Today, all medias are used to encourage patients to take certain prescription drugs. Patients can be influenced by the lovely slogans, beautiful models or voices on television and printed media. Be aware that what is advertised may not be the best remedy for your health problem. Furthermore, there is the possibility that there is a cheaper version of the medicine advertised.
3. Do NOT Believe All Herbal Supplements Have No Adverse Reactions
People think that herbal supplements are natural and are therefore safe. Patients must remember that herbal supplements, unlike medicine, has never been checked or under any kind of control. There are certain herbals which can produce drug interactions, maybe serious reactions, similar to those of prescription drugs. Therefore, they need to be checked regularly by a medical practitioner.
4. Do NOT Switch Pharmacy Unless Really Necessary.
Some people shop around and buy their medicines from a number of pharmacies to save money. However, this will mean that no pharmacy has a proper record of the medicines you use. Without such a record it is difficult for the pharmacist to ensure your safety with the medicines you take. Without a complete record of the medicines prescribed in the computer system of a pharmacy, programmed to detect possible drug interactions, no pharmacist can save you if it does occur.
5. Do NOT Purchase Fake Medicines from Illegal Internet Pharmacies
Be aware that sales of fake prescription drugs on the internet are a fast growing world business. Undetected, these companies advertised themselves as legally recognized pharmacies to sell fake drugs, expired drugs and wrong type of drugs just to get rich.
Action was taken on these fake-drug organizations in 2011 with an operation involving 80 countries, including the U.S. this worldwide operation closed nearly 13,500 sites on the internet, and confiscated from 48 countries 2.4 million fake as well as illegal pills. Although it was a big successful operation, consumers must always be on guard for such online fake-drug companies. Buying fake drugs is certainly not the way to save money on prescription drugs.