SAVING RX DOLLARS
The task of reducing prescription costs without jeopardizing the quality of medical care requires the patient or their caregiver to understand exactly what can be changed in the prescription prescribing program for the benefit of the patient. A proactive approach to achieving a less costly prescription program requires developing a dialog and a cooperative attitude from the prescribing physician.
In many cases, the physician ignores the cost side of the prescription product because he knows most patients don't pay for the drugs out of pocket. This situation is dramatically changing in the last six months of 2006. Almost 7 million seniors will be paying out of pocket at full retail for their prescription drugs for the some portion of 2006.
Here are some questions that the physician should answer.
You should also challenge your physician on why you are taking each medication he has prescribed. As an example, Allopurinol is for the treatment of gout. If your blood work is normal, and if you have not had an attack in years, it makes little sense to continue to be on the drug. Just monitoring your blood work in the future may be all that it takes to stay off the drug. Over utilization of drugs is a major problem that is seldom addressed by the physician unless he is challenged. Time pressure quite often prevents the physician from analyzing the drug regimen. Consulting pharmacists can be of help in this matter.
In addition, most of the newer prescription drugs marketed in the last ten years are of a me-too nature and are no more effective than tried and true generics that have been around for years. The only difference is they may cost 4 to 10 times as much as the older drug. Just switching to a proven older generic can save you a bundle
Sometimes, the appropriate dose is not available. As an example, a generic called hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) is not available in a 12.5 mg strength tablet. A capsule of this strength is available from Mylan at a much higher cost per dose than if you were to split a 25 mg. HCTZ tablet. The choice is obvious. Split the 25 mg tablet.
Here are some things they have learned.
The key to controlling and reducing your cost of prescription medication is difficult, but can be accomplished with the cooperation of your physician and pharmacist. I believe overall, both professionals in most cases will show compassion towards the patient. If the physicians of this country would speak in unison demanding we fix our healthcare problems, then real true compassion would be demonstrated.
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Retired but not senile yet!
Copyright © 2006 Thomas Braun