Archive for the ‘pharmaceuticals’ Category

Tricks and Tips for Saving Money On Prescriptions

September 29, 2013

I truly recognize that prescription medicines are costly and often beyond the reach of many patients. I am often amazed at how expensive prescribed medications are and how the price is so variable from one pharmacy to another. Here are a few tricks and trips to save money on your prescription medications.

1. Price compare between pharmacies. Prices can be double and even triple from different pharmacies. Generic medicine prices vary more than branded/trademarked medicine prices.

For example a Z-pack 5 day antibiotic (generic) Costco- $11 OR Kmart- $55
Tricyclen birth control (generic) Target- $9 OR Osco- $33
Suggestion: call the pharmacies yourself and find out which one is offering the lowest price. The pharmacy tech or the pharmacist will give you the price over the phone. You need to be able to tell the pharmacist the strength and quantity of the medication.
Another idea: Take your “combo pill” as two separate pills. If you are taking a medication that is a combination of medicines, consider taking it as two separate pills. For example if you have an elnlarge prostate gland and the doctor has presicrbed a pill that combines two medications such as an alpha blocker and a pill to decrease the size of the prostate gland, you can ask the doctor to prescribe both drugs and you take two pills instead of one at a much reduced cost. If you are not sure if you are taking a “combo pill” try Googling the name to find out. Usually you can save money by taking the meds separately (even if there is a generic version of your combo med!)
Lotrel (generic) 10/20, #30 tabs – $81 per month OR amlodipine 10 mg, #30 tabs + benazepril 20 mg, #30 tabs= $8 + $6 = $14 per month.
Change the dosing schedule of your medication. If you are taking a medication that ends with “XL”, “XR”, “CD”, or “SR”- then you are probably taking a long acting, albeit expensive version of your medicine. Therefore, there is probably a short- acting generic version of your medication also available. The trade off would be that you might have to take a pill two or three times a day instead of once or twice a day but at a significant saving. If your doctor thinks this is appropriate for you, it could save you big bucks.
Rythmol SR 225 mg, #60 tabs (taken twice a day)- $367/month OR propafenone (generic Rythmol) 225 mg #100 tabs (taken three times a day)- $34/month

Bottom Line: Prescription medications are expensive. However, there are effective ways to reduce the costs without negatively impacting your health.

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Purchasing Medications Online-Let the Buyer Beware

April 7, 2012

With the high cost of prescription medications many patients are frequently asked about ordering medications online. This is certainly understandable with the high cost of medications, so many of our patients on fixed income, and the high unemployment rate making affording medication difficult or impossible. Patients are looking to their physicians for advice on buying medications online. This is the advice I give the patient in a written form to help them make the decision of whether to purchase medications over the Internet.
The FDA is trying to stop the flow of illegal ED drugs, but these medicines still circulate freely on the Internet. Legitimate online pharmacies do exist. It just takes a little bit of sleuthing to find them.
Here’s what to look for when you buy ED drugs online:
• A licensed pharmacy with an address in the U.S. (Check with your state board of pharmacy or the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.)
• A pharmacy that requires a prescription from your doctor
• Drugs that are approved by the FDA
• Containers that are clearly labeled with the name of the drug and the dosage
• A licensed pharmacist who is available to answer your questions
• A contact phone number to call if you have questions or problems
A clearly stated privacy policy that protects your credit card number and other personal information
Bottom Line: Doctors can only assume responsibility for medications they prescribe that are obtained from reputable pharmacies located in the United States. However, it may be possible to find drugs online if you follow the caveats described above.