Americans spend more than $325 billion on prescription drugs each year. Almost every American adult takes at least one prescription drug regularly, and for most, medications are a necessary expense — one that can put a real strain on the pocketbook.
You don’t have to resign yourself to coughing up the full price of your medications, no matter what it may be. There are steps you can take to cut your prescription medication costs. Look for cheaper medication options, and don’t be afraid to share your concerns with your doctor and pharmacist. With a little effort, you can enjoy good health and healthy finances.
Ask Your Doctor About Cheaper Prescriptions
Doctors know that 20 percent of the prescriptions they write are never filled, largely due to their patients’ financial constraints. If you’re worried about the cost of your prescriptions, let your doctor know. He or she might not know the exact cost of filling your prescription at your preferred pharmacy, but he or she will probably have a good idea if a drug is going to be expensive — for example, if it’s a brand name pharmaceutical with no generic alternative. In many cases, your doctor will be able to prescribe an alternative medication that costs less.
Look into Pill-Splitting
Did you know that you can get your same medication in a higher dose for about the same cost as what you’re already paying? Many people save money on prescription drugs by asking the doctor to double their dosage. When it’s time to take their medicine, they simply split the pills in half. That way you can get double the medicine for about the same cost.
Be careful, though — not all pills can safely be split. Split-safe pills have a score in the center, making it easy to chop the pill in half with a knife. Coated pills, capsules and time-release drugs usually aren’t appropriate for splitting. Let your pharmacist know your intentions so he or she can dispense a medication that’s appropriate for pill-splitting. Your pharmacist is also equipped to review your medications, suggest alternatives and answer your questions. (more…)