Unfortunately, many people have to make the decision to eat or to buy their prescriptions. That is a sad reality. Our brave armed forces or veterans should not have to make that decision when they are fighting or have fought for our freedom and our country. Our senior citizens who need certain medications to function or even survive should not have to question where their next meal is going to come from. A family raising a child with special needs have enough expenses and should not have to see their child suffer more because they can’t afford a medication. The cost of prescription drugs has gotten out of control. There is a cap on what businesses can charge for batteries through “price gouging”, why isn’t there the same restrictions when it comes to lifesaving medications? I shake my head every time I think about it.
How you can save on prescriptions:
- When your doctor pulls out their prescription pad always ask, “Why?”, they are recommending a particular drug for you.
- Ask if there is an effective lower-cost alternative drug. Possibly an over the counter product might be just as effective or even a generic brand.
- Ask for free samples. Many times your doctor has no idea what samples they have in those cabinets in their exam rooms. If you don’t ask, they won’t find out.
- Ask if you can take half the pill or maybe take the dosage every other day if it will be just as effective.
- Ask for no more than a 14 day supply maximum. It is best to see whether the medication helps you without side effects. There is nothing worse than filling an expensive prescription to find out after one or two doses that your system can’t handle it and you’re stuck with a 30 day supply (or more) and you’re out the money.
- Check with your insurance if one pharmacy location is less expensive than another for the particular drug you need. Just because you have insurance doesn’t mean that you’re going to pay the same price at Target versus Walgreens versus Kmart versus Rite Aid versus Safeway. Shop around. A few phone calls could save you money.
- Check www.goodrx.com for the best prices as well as coupons that can reduce the cost of medications by an additional 80%.
- Call the drug maker and ask about savings cards. Some provide them and these cards can reduce your price by hundreds of dollars a month. This is no different then, remember back in the 90’s if you’d write a business a complimentary letter they would thank you by sending you a box of their product. I used to do this all the time with Leggs pantyhose. They were always so expensive, and when I started writing them I never had to pay for Leggs again because they would send me boxes of the same pantyhose I wrote about telling them how much I loved them.
- If you have a Sam’s membership, speak with the pharmacist about your prescriptions. I did and she was able to point out 3 different drugs that I could get over the counter in a generic, and in a larger quantity of 300, 600 and 900 quantities at a fraction of the cost of what the prescription costs.
- Go on your computer and type in the name of the prescription prescribed. There are so many prescription drugs that usually there are a few to choose from and all of them have different pricing. For example, my Mom takes an antibiotic for UTI maintenance and her doctor prescribed Macrobid which was $70 for a 30 day supply. I looked up the drug and found that Bactrim is basically the same drug for only $4.00. The doctor was happy to write a different script for her.
Although “saving on prescriptions” is important, but so is keeping your personal health record (PHR) up to date with your current prescription information, dosages and why you’re taking them. Since most of us see more than one doctor, you have to make sure each doctor has the same information. Many prescription drug medications cannot be taken with one another. Providing your doctor with your PHR will help them prescribe the right medications.