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Five Ways to Save at the Pharmacy
By West Conner

It is no secret that the cost of prescription drugs is spiraling upward at an alarming rate. In fact, we as Americans spent over $170 billion on prescriptions in 2004 and prescription costs have more than quadrupled since 1991.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 29% of people say someone in their household did not take a prescription in the past year because of cost.

On January 1, 2006, Medicare Part D was launched. The program is designed to assist those who qualify for Medicare lower their prescription drug costs. The program is confusing and, unfortunately, an estimated six million eligible people did not sign up for the plan.

So how are those who are not eligible for Medicare or do not have prescription drug insurance able to lower their prescription costs?

1. Cut your tablets in half

Nearly everyone realizes that they can double their dose and cut their tablets in half, but most people just don’t do it. A pill cutter is an inexpensive device that can lower your prescription costs by up to 50%. Getting you prescription changed is as easy as a phone call to your doctor’s office. Simply ask for double the dose and say you want to cut your tablets in half as a cost cutting technique. Your doctor can then call the pharmacy with the new prescription.

2. Buying in volume

Every time you get your prescription filled, the pharmacy attaches a dispensing fee to your medication. This fee varies but is usually in the neighborhood of five dollars. This fee adds up to about $60 a year if you get your prescription filled every month. If you were to purchase your medication in a three month supply, you will save $40 a year on the dispensing fee. Also, the cost of three month’s worth of medication will not be three times the one month cost. The price, per pill, of medication is lower with the greater number of pills you buy.

3. You don’t have to use your insurance

Five Ways to Save at the Pharmacy
By West Conner Just because you have prescription insurance, does not mean you have to use it. Most prescription insurance companies set their generic co-pays at $10 or $15. Check the cash price of your medication for a three month supply. Is it less than three times your co-pay? If so, you can pay cash and save money by not using your insurance plan.

4. Buy a small quantity of a new medication

When your doctor writes you a new prescription, there is no need to buy a whole month’s worth of medication. You do not know exactly how your body will react. If you are allergic or have a rare side effect, you will lose all the money you spent on the expensive prescription. It is very rare for a pharmacy to take back medications. It is true that, initially, you will spend a little more but the risk of a high dollar loss is great by spending all that money up front.

5. Do not pay attention to advertising

Drug manufacturers are very good at direct-to-consumer marketing. You have seen the commercials where all you have to do is take a little pill and the world is wonderful. What they don’t tell you is the cost of their medication. It is quite high to pay for all that advertising.

For most of us, prescription drugs are a part of life. You are responsible for your health but you are not responsible for the increasing costs of that health.

The techniques listed in this article will dramatically reduce your costs.

Start now.

The savings are possible if you put a little work into it, and these savings add up month after month. By being a little creative in your pharmacy spending, you can significantly reduce your overall expenses at the drug store.

There is no reason to feel trapped by the ever increasing prescription drug costs.

Dr. West Conner is a pharmacist, consultant, speaker, and the author of the incredibly popular “How To Save Money On Your Prescription Drugs.” He is currently active in assisting clients who are having difficulty affording their prescription drugs. Through his many years of practice, Dr. Conner has developed a number of unique and creative ways to lower prescription costs. He is also a frequent radio and television guest personality. Visit http://www.rxcostcutters.com for more details.

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