Medical budgeting: Cut down the sky high cost of prescription drugs

By: on 2015-07-21
Ask Sanders Patricia

According to Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs annual prescription drug poll 2012, people who regularly take prescribed medicine usually spend $758 on average annually. Most people having medical coverage also need to spend money on prescribed medicines. Health care costs are skyrocketing day by day. Health insurance premiums are also rising simultaneously. Skipping medicine is not a good idea to reduce costs as it will unearth severe health problems. So, let's find out some ways to minimize the costs of prescription drugs, which will cure your health related issues and save money as well. Read the article and also do some research to cut down the expenses and get well soon.

1. Talk to your doctor

Your physician is the best person who can suggest you alternative ways to get medicines on cheap rate. So, do not hesitate to tell your doctor that you're struggling to afford the costs of the prescribed medicines. Your pharmacist can also help you in this regard. Do not think that you're the only one who needs help. There are many people out there who need low-cost medication as the cost is totally out of their reach. So, be honest and speak to your doctor if there is any generic brand available. In case, there is no generic alternative, then ask if there is any other composition with low price which is also suitable for your health. There are many medicines with the same composition but with different price tags.

Moreover, ask your doctor if the sample file is available. Many doctors keep the sample file of almost every medicine they prescribe to their patients. They get it for free of cost. So, you can ask for the sample to save the money on refill cost.

2. Care for your pills in order to lower your bills

Don't ever throw the excess medicine after the disease is cured. Keep the unused medicine in a cool dry place for further requirements. Your doctor may suggest the same medicine if the symptoms reappear. Keep away the pills from wash basin or washroom because moisture is not good for pills.

3. Go for coupons and discount cards

You can get discount price on medicine if you switch over from one medicine shop to another. Besides, you can ask your doctor and nurse, if there is any coupon, before leaving the clinic. Sometimes, manufacturers drop coupons at the doctors' place. There are many websites and clubs where you can get coupons such as CVS, Walgreens, etc.

4. Go for generic medicines

Generic alternative medicines are generally less expensive than brand named drugs. But, be sure the generic medicines are FDA approved. Better you ask your doctor if you can get the generic alternative of his/her suggested medicines. According to FDA, "Generic drugs have exactly the same active ingredients and effects as brand-name drugs, but they can cost 30 percent to 80 percent less".

5. Verify the price before buying

Try to know the costs of the medicines from your local store. Then if possible visit online pharmacies such as CVS, Walgreens and RiteAid and verify. If you get lower price, then go ahead and shop. Internet savvy people may visit prescription medication provider's website to check if there is any offer available.

6. Get help from Prescription Assistance Program (PAP)

Prescription Assistance Program may help you get medicines of your need in case you don't have coverage for your prescribed drugs. Distressed young patients can also get help from PAP.

How Medicare can help you to reduce prescription drug cost

Leverage Medicare's outpatient prescription drug coverage will help people (low-income group) to meet their medicine costs. According to FDA, "This new program comes at a time when five out of six people aged 65 and older are taking at least one medication, and almost half of all elderly people take three or more".

1. Try to explore national and community based programs to meet some organizations who help people pay for their drugs for rare diseases.

2. Check if you are eligible for State Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs (SPAPs) . Visit their official website for further details.

3. Contact Social Security to get help with prescription drug costs if you have Medicare with limited income and resources.

4. Try to check out if you qualify for Manufacturers' Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs.

Lastly, no one but your doctor can suggest the best medication and the brand. So, try to get his/her opinion before switching over to a generic brand. Be careful about your health and the medication as your mistake can cost millions.

Last Updated on: Tue, 21 Jul 2015

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