The latest email from http://www.stretcher.com includes an article from a subscriber who couldn’t afford the $280 (!) co-pay on a prescription. He remembered those TV ads about how the manufacturer “may be able to help.” He called and explained his situation. They gave him a coupon for a month’s worth free. Since his was an acute condition, this was enough to get him through.
Prescription medication can be prohibitively expensive. There are several approaches to dealing with this.
First, if the cost is a problem, make sure your doctor knows this. Oftentimes there are alternatives that will work as well or almost as well, at a fraction of the cost of the first thing they thought of. If the pill is a type that can be cut in half, see if the doctor will prescribe twice the dose, with the understanding that you will take half a pill to get the dose they really want. I’ve been doing this for years. The higher dose doesn’t cost twice as much as the lower, so I save a lot of money that way.
Second, choose your pharmacy. A wonderful resource is http://www.goodrx.com Put in the exact name of the medication and the prescribed dose, and they will show you the price at many drugstores near you. Sometimes there’s a coupon you can print out for a discount at one of the stores.
Be aware that many supermarket pharmacies give away some basic medications free. In my area, Publix gives away metformin (diabetes), lisinopril (high blood pressure), and seven antibiotics.
Walmart has a very long list of generic medications that cost only $4 a month, or $10 for a 90 day supply.
Marie Brack is the author of Frugal Living for the 21st Century: Adventures in Using Your Money Wisely. It’s available on Amazon.com in both Kindle and paperback versions.
This review is from: Frugal Living for the 21st Century: Adventures in Using Your Money Wisely (Kindle Edition)
This book is jam-packed with tips, ideas, and strategies for saving money. It’s the Tightwad Gazette of the 21st century… internet addresses for DIY help, encouragement for readers, personal anecdotes, this book has it all. To top it off, it’s delivered in a light, easy to read style that isn’t preachy or judgmental. A very helpful, and enjoyable, read!”
The Tightwad Gazette has been the “bible” of thrifty living. My hope was to make it the ‘old testament’ and mine the ‘new testament’, and it seems I have succeeded.
We all know about 911 for emergencies and 411 for information. Now there’s also 211, a telephone based resource for all kinds of social services and community help. 211 is a service of the United Way. On the phone, just dial 211. Online, go to www.211.org. (Notice it’s .org not .com). The website gives you the phone number to call United Way locally.
In Florida’s Volusia and Flagler counties we have www.211Live.org which has a link to a searchable directory where you can look for the specific thing you need. They have 1,000+ resources, everything from after school child care to help if your house burns down, help with food, housing, elder care, counseling, transportation, medical care….
Each state has its own website, e.g. www.211florida.org, www.211arkansas.org, etc. Each state and county has its own range of services, and some counties are not yet served in some states.
If you or someone you know needs help with just about anything, just dial 211.
If you or anyone you know takes Lisinopril (generic of Zestril, Prinivil) for high blood pressure, did you know that Publix gives it away for free? They also give away Metformin oral medication for diabetes, and several antibiotics. Go to www.publix.com, scroll to the bottom of the screen, and look in the list of Services for “Free Medication”, or ask at the pharmacy counter. There is no low income requirement for this; the medications are free to anyone with a prescription.
Harris Teeter Supermarkets have a similar program. Miejer Supermarkets offer free antibiotics and prenatal vitamins. Price Chopper, Super 1 Foods, Schnucks and United Supermarkets will fill certain antibiotic prescriptions for free. Other stores may do the same; it can’t hurt to ask.
If one of these free medications would do just as well as whatever your doctor is currently prescribing, maybe he or she would change your prescription to one that is free.
If that won’t work, check out http://www.goodrx.com, a very useful and well-designed site. It shows you the price of your specific medicine at several pharmacies near you. It also has coupons for your medication at the various stores. This is well worth looking into.
For me now it’s not the drug that’s expensive, it’s the $100 doctor visit to get the prescription. But that’s a rant for another day…