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 Prescription Drug Savings

by Nikki Willhite

Prescription drugs can be incredibly expensive, or very affordable. There have been times when members of my family have been prescribed a drug that costs upwards of $100 a pill.

Frankly, some doctors are rather cavalier about medical costs. They don't think about the money. If you tell them that you cannot afford a particular medication, they can usually come up with another medication that costs less money.

Thankfully other doctors are price-sensitive. I've had doctors suggest to me that I get a larger dose of a medication than necessary, and cut the pill in half to save money. Be aware that you CANNOT do this will all medications. Some drugs are time-released or have other reasons why you should not do it. Be sure and ask your doctor before you do it. It is not a bad idea to ask your pharmacist either.

The same thing is true about generic drugs. You save a lot of money using generic drugs, but not all doctors prescribe them. A lot of medical plans, and mail order drug companies, keep you informed about generic drugs. In fact, with companies like Medco, you pay what I would call a "heavy fine" for not using generics. Sometimes it is not even allowed.

Other doctors are very good about giving out samples. When drugs have known side-effects that you know you may not be able to tolerate, this saves both time and money.

Some pharmacies offer discounts for senior citizens or members of AARP.  Once you reach 50, you should be checking out all retail stores for discounts.  The ages of 50, 55, and 62 are when most discounts kick in.

There are websites that can help you find drugs cards that offer discounted rates.  However, remember that anyone can use the word "discounted", but it is the bottom line that matters.

The market for prescription drugs has become very competitive. Stores like Walmart are now doing a good job competing with mail order 3-month refills on generic drugs. Always call your local pharmacies and compare prices.

If your income is low, you may qualify for free or heavily discounted medications from the manufacturers of your drugs.

If your doctor or pharmacist can't give you the name of the manufacturer of your medicine, just google   "Which drug company manufactures (the name of your medication)"  to find the information. They should have a toll-free number on their site.

Finally, people who live near the border of Canada or Mexico may be able to find their medications in those countries at a big discount.

Unfortunately, as we age, our need for medications only worsens. If you start saving now, it will be easier when you are older.

About the Author: Nikki Willhite, mother of 3 and an interior design graduate, has been writing and publishing articles on the topic of frugal living for over a decade. Visit her at www.frugalhappyfamilies.com - where you will find hundreds of frugal living tips and articles. Frugal Happy Families- more than just money!

 

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