6 Ways to Save Money on Prescription Drugs
These days, the cost of prescription drugs is higher than ever before. While pharmaceutical companies charge an arm and a leg and FDA regulations drive up prices even higher, those who need those drugs to survive are the ones left out in the cold, paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars a month for life-sustaining medicines. Clearly, this is a dismal and frightening state of affairs for anyone experiencing it. However, there may be some light at the end of the tunnel. By taking advantage of government and AARP programs, and being a wise consumer, those in need of drugs can often get them cheaper than the average person can. Here are six ways to save money on prescription drugs.
1) Inquire about Medicare HMOs in your area
If you can join a Medicare HMO (health maintenance organization) in your area, doing so could be a very wise choice. Medicare HMOs often offer discounts and reduced fees on the prescription drugs you need most, which is a big boost if you are not wealthy or living on a fixed income. Using the link below, you can quickly and easily search a directory of all the Medicare HMOs in the country and find one nearest you.
2) Buy generic drugs whenever possible
You generally can and should buy generic drugs (for example Walgreen-issued drugs) unless your doctor explicitly warns you not to. The reason generics are cheaper is that the pharmaceutical company who first created a drug has to recoup the massive research and development costs incurred in doing so. Meanwhile, generic producers can simply capitalize on that company's hard work and mass-produce the drug without any such costs to worry about recouping. Therefore, they are often much cheaper for consumers to buy.
3) Keep in close contact with your doctor
If you are on prescription drugs regularly, it pays to keep regular, close contact with your doctor. The reason is that your doctor is often "in the know" about various drug discount programs, as well as the release of new generics into the marketplace. According to an FDA article:
"The doctor's office also can serve as a valuable resource for patients for such activities as informing them about the Medicare prescription drug benefit, signing application forms for patient assistance programs, and referring patients to state-sponsored services and community assistance programs."
By keeping in touch with your doctor, you will be on the inside track and hear about such developments as soon as they arise. Doctors can also often give you samples of the drugs you need.
4) Seek assistance from pharmaceutical companies
As much as drug companies are scorned as evil, selfish corporations, it turns out that some of them have a benevolent side too. One form of assistance from drug companies is the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, which has been in effect since 2002. It's an industry-wide effort to help patients obtain drugs more cheaply by enrolling them in assistance programs they might not have known about before. By getting in touch with PPA, consumers can bypass a lot of the headaches and paperwork that come with enrolling in prescription drug assistance programs.
5) Join AARP
The AARP (American Association for Retired People) offers a number of significant price breaks on prescription drugs as well. If you are a senior citizen or will be soon, it could be well worth it to join this respected organization. Through AARP's MedicareRX plan, a form of low-cost health insurance that will protect you from having to pay exorbitantly high fees for any drugs you currently use or may need in the future. The link below offers more details and gives you the opportunity to sign up for MedicareRX.
6) Consider imported drugs
While the FDA is crusading to convince Americans that drugs from Canada are not cheaper, the reality is that they often are. For this reason, it makes sense to at least investigate the possibility of importing the prescription drugs you need from Canada so long as it can be done safely. Here is one such Canadian pharmacy, which operates through the mail and promises "safe and legal over the counter brand name and generic medications at every day low prices."
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