According to a 2014 report by the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), 50% of Americans take at least 1 prescription. For seniors over 65, 9 out of 10 take at least one prescription drug, with many taking 5 or more different kinds. Among children, 1 out of 4 take at least one prescription drug.
All of these medications add up to a large cost- in 2014 people in the US filled a record 4.3 billion prescriptions totaling $374 billion according to the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.
So it is not surprising that the cost of medications can be a problem for many people.
Listed below are tips on how to save money if you are taking a prescription.
Work on Prevention
- Many prescription drugs are prescribed for conditions which could be improved or prevented by getting serious about weight loss and exercise.
- It is a sad fact that in the US our average weight continues to increase every year.
- Every extra pound puts more strain on the heart, joints and back as well as raising blood pressure and increasing the risk of diabetes.
Talk with Your Doctor
- Ask about generic options, which are usually much less expensive than brands.
- Many insurance companies have a formulary which charges less for certain brands. Ask your doctor for 3 brand choices and check on the cost- then let your doctor know which is lowest for you.
- Tell your doctor if you can’t afford your medication. There may be a lower cost replacement or samples available.
- Ask for a review of your medications every year to see if any can be taken away or decreased.
Ask your Pharmacist
- Ask if getting a higher dose pill and splitting it would be cost effective. Don’t split pills unless you have asked if that particular pill can be split and still work.
- See if your pharmacy reviews Part D Medicare Plans every year to help you choose the one which will pay the most for your medications
- Ask about Patient Assistant Programs for brand-name drugs.
- Look into the Extra Help program for those on Medicare who meet certain income guidelines. This program pays about $4,000 yearly if you qualify.
Your hometown Topeka Pharmacy may be your best friend when it comes to beating the high cost of prescription drugs. We offer free personalized Part D review, we can review all of your medications and their interactions, and can help you find the patient assistant resources you need. Come visit us today!