Prescription drugs are often very expensive, particularly the new ones and if the cost of the medicine is not covered by insurance, you can end up spending a great deal of money on prescription drugs.
There are many people who do not have health insurance at all and so have to fork out money for drugs when they are ill. Then there are lots of people who have to co-pay the money for medicines. And then there are some medicines which are not covered by insurance at all. If you are spending a great deal of money on prescription drugs one way or the other, there are ways you can save some money.
When economic conditions are bad and when people do not feel so ill, they just might stop spending the money on medicines without realizing the harm they may be doing to themselves. If you are suffering from a ‘silent’ disease which has no overt symptoms or very minor symptoms and the doctor prescribes some medicines which you cannot afford you may not take them or not take the required dosage or not take the medicines for the length of time you are supposed to.
What you can do?
First of all, talk to your doctor. If he has given you a prescription and when you go to fill it, you realize how expensive it is, go back to him and talk to him or call him. Ask for cheaper substitutes. However, sometimes, doctors are quite adamant about the medicines and refuse to recommend a cheaper substitute, often saying that the formulation of a particular company is better. If that is the case, there are two other things you can do.
Ask the pharmacist if there are cheaper medicines made by other companies. Different pharmaceutical companies may have different price points they sell the drugs at. If you can get the cheaper version of the drug, it will result in considerable savings. Sometimes various pharmacies also sell drugs and varying prices.
Otherwise buy a set or pack of medicines and do your own research on the internet. Look for the chemical composition of the drug (if it is not written on the pack, you can check the formulation on the net). Then see which other companies make it and what is the price.
Go in for generics which are almost always cheaper. If the pill can be split, you can buy the higher dosage one, which will be cheaper, split it and have it. Say if you are recommended 500 mg. but the 1000 mg. one is cheaper, you can cut in half and have it – buy a pill splitter for a more accurate dosage. This will obviously not be possible for sustained release or extended release tablets or capsules and even some film coated or sugar coated pills.
Use mail order
At times you can order drugs in bulk by mail. This can result in substantial savings for you. Of course, this is possible only for chronic conditions and not for acute illnesses where you need immediate relief.
However, be wary of buying from the internet as you can never be sure if the drugs meet stringent quality controls or not. If you do need to get drugs from abroad because they are cheaper, try Canada.
If you have minor problems, try alternative remedies. Homeopathic remedies are very cheap. You can also try naturopathy and diet and exercise for certain conditions. Obviously, this will not work for all problems, but may help in cases of borderline blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol and the like.