Nowadays, it’s hard to get sick. Not only does it severely affect our overall health and daily lives, but it can also take a huge chunk off of our savings. If you’re living in countries with expensive healthcare like the U.S, hospital appointments, admission, and prescription medications mean a hundred to thousands of dollars.
While insurance can cover some of your hospital bills, the same can’t be said for prescriptions. Some health insurances don’t cover specific types of drugs. This can be a problem, especially for those under routine medication. Fortunately, there are various ways for you to save money when purchasing prescription medications.
Difficulties in Affording Prescription Drugs
Prescription medications are expensive. To take their medicines, some people have no choice but to resort to debt. With daily necessities, rent, and utility bills taking up most of their income, there’s little to nothing left to purchase their medications. For this reason, thousands of Americans deal with medical debt, even those who have medical insurances.
Various individuals have opted to work multiple jobs to provide for their medical needs. This way, they can earn more money for their necessities without falling into too much debt.
However, some resort to riskier methods. People either reduce the medicine they take or skip a dosage to prolong their supply. Others even take medications past their expiration date to keep up with the necessary doses. These practices can lead to serious, life-threatening risks.
Other than that, some have cut off their prescription refills or have completely stopped taking their medications. Medications such as Catapres and propranolol can be dangerous when stopped abruptly. They can trigger rebound effects and withdrawal symptoms, often causing a rise in blood pressure and even sudden death. If you want to stop your medications, consult your doctor first.
Home remedies or alternative medicines have also been on the rise, with many thinking that it will help them the same as traditional methods. While there are alternative medical treatments that can help relieve simple ailments, they can’t easily cure serious illnesses such as cancer. It may even put someone’s life in danger.
Saving Money on Prescriptions
No one deserves to struggle financially to afford medicine. Hence, here are various ways you can do to afford the prescription drugs that you need.
Opt for Generic Medication
Brand-name drugs are often more expensive than generic ones. However, there are instances where your doctor will prescribe you the former. That doesn’t mean you have to shell out a lot of money just to buy your prescription medications, though, especially if it’s for maintenance. Since you’ll have to take it for the long term, going for the generic option would help you save a lot of money.
Generic drugs have the same active ingredients found in brand-name ones . This means that the drug’s efficacy will not be compromised when you opt for a cheaper option instead. Hence, your health won’t be at risk when you take the generic ones instead of the brand-name drugs prescribed to you.
Different pharmacies offer different prices for medications, especially on prescriptions. The prices vary because of how different PBMs (pharmacy benefit managers) negotiate the prices between the drug manufacturers and the pharmacy that orders their medication. The number of PBMs can affect the cost of these medicines. The more PBMs there are, the more the prices would fluctuate.
However, when comparing prices, you don’t have to visit every pharmacy in town. You can personally call these pharmacies to ask for their prices or use an online tool to aid you with the search. While this method takes a lot of effort, it will surely help you save more money on drug costs.
Apply for a Prescription Assistance
Those struggling with their prescription meds can apply for prescription assistance programs or PAPs. Various organizations offer this assistance, such as the local government, nonprofits, and even drug manufacturers.
Contact the manufacturer to see if you’re eligible for their assistance programs. The process will often require you to work with your doctor to provide the manufacturers with the necessary information. You need to meet specific requirements, such as the state of your income, before you’re approved for the program.
Use a Coupon
Various drug manufacturers often offer coupons to help consumers save money for their prescriptions. You can get these coupons through your doctor or the pharmacy. There are also various websites online that offer coupons for the medicine you need. Just ensure they are trustworthy and reliable to avoid any future problems on your part.
Request for a Larger Supply
If you’re taking routine medications, opt to purchase a supply that can last 90 days . This will reduce the price of the drug that you will buy. Instead of the usual 30-day supply of medication, you can ask your doctor to write you a prescription for three months’ worth of supply. By buying a larger batch, you won’t have to purchase refills often, which can save you more money on copays.
To Wrap It Up
Staying healthy doesn’t have to mean struggling financially. While the healthcare this country offers doesn’t come cheap, there are still ways to afford the medicines you need. By being smart with your medical expenses, you wouldn’t have to risk your finances and, most especially, your health and safety.
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