Cutting Health Care Costs: Drugs
11 Tips on Trimming Prescription Drug Costs Without Compromising Your Health
9. Don't store pills incorrectly.
Heat, moisture, and darkness can "reduce the potency of the
medication," says Zive, who warns against storing pills in bathroom
medicine chests because of the heat and moisture in bathrooms.
"What would happen if you spent, say, either $100 on medications or $50
on a co-pay and you open up the vial and the medicines are all clumped together
from moisture?" Zive asks.
10. Don't share pills or save pills.
Sharing pills is a no-no, even if it's with a relative.
"People do ask me, 'Can I give this to my brother for a headache? It worked for me.'
Well, maybe 80% of the time, that would be fine, but the 20% of the time it
could be a disaster, so I would not normally condone that," Zive says.
What if you have pills left over and you get the same illness again? It's
not a great idea to use those pills again without checking with your doctor,
because that drug may no longer be right for you or you may have developed
another condition that your doctor needs to know about.
"You could be doing more damage than saving a few dollars," Zive
11. Be careful with promotions for expensive drugs.
If your doctor gives you a card offering a one-time deal on an expensive
prescription drug, you might want to remember that that deal won't help you if
you refill that prescription.
Zive says he cautioned a customer about that recently when she used a
promotional card to cover her co-pay for an expensive steroid cream. Zive says
he asked her, "What about next time? You're going to have to pay for
Such promotions are "a good marketing tool, and I'm certainly not
putting that down, but I think what you have to be careful of is what seems
like a great deal for free or inexpensive medication may or may not be,"