How can you lower your medicine costs?
make some changes in your lifestyle might help reduce your need for medicines.
Many chronic illnesses, including
high blood pressure, and
low back pain, require fewer medicines if you can
increase your activity level, lose weight, and improve your diet. Also,
counseling, support groups, and other therapies may
help with illnesses such as
How can you save money on prescriptions?
Generic medicines are less expensive copies of
brand-name medicines. Ask your doctor or
pharmacist if you can take a
generic equivalent for the brand-name medicine that
you take now. Generic equivalents are made according to the same strict U.S.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards as brand-name drugs. So generics
have the same quality, strength, purity, and stability as their more expensive
Unfortunately, generic equivalents are not available
for every brand-name medicine. If there is not an equivalent, ask your doctor
if there is a similar medicine in the same class that may be less expensive or
that has a generic equivalent.
Shop around for the best deal
on medicines. The retail cost can vary widely from pharmacy to pharmacy.
Some pharmacies match the price that other pharmacies
charge. While finding a good deal is important, be sure
that your pharmacist (or pharmacists) knows your medical history, including all
the medicines you take-both prescription and over-the-counter (nonprescription) drugs as well as dietary supplements and
herbs-even if you didn't get them at that particular pharmacy.
That way he or she can provide valuable advice about any potential for drug
interactions, side effects, or other problems.
Also, compare costs of buying medicines online. Some large drugstore
chains have websites that offer savings. See a complete list of websites on
the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) site at
www.nabp.net. Look for websites that display the NABP
VIPPS (Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites) seal, which means they meet
state and federal requirements.
Pill splitting is another strategy that
can help you save money without losing drug effectiveness or safety. Some
tablets are available at double the dose and at the same or almost the same
cost as lower doses. By splitting the larger dose, you can essentially get two
doses for the price of one. But many medicines should not be split, including timed-release pills and capsules.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist if any of your
prescription medicines are sold at higher dosages and if it's possible to split
them. Talk to your pharmacist about how to split pills with an inexpensive,
pill splitter .
Buying prescriptions in bulk can also save you money. Ask your doctor to write a prescription
for several months' supply of medicines that you take consistently. Keep in
mind that your insurance company may limit the amount of medicine you can get
at one time. Sometimes the cash price for a 3-month supply of medicine is less
costly than if you were to pay an insurance copay each month for three months.
Mail-order services can often save you money on large orders. But be sure to
use only trusted, reliable pharmacy websites.