Are your meds driving you to the poor house? Tips to reduce costs

Apr 2, 2012, 8:22 a.m.

With scarce healthcare coverage and rising medication costs, it's likely that you are desperately looking for inventive new ways to reduce medication costs and ease the financial burden of this essential item. Fortunately, with just a little extra time, effort and creativity, anyone can acquire help with medical costs by making a few quick and easy changes.

  1. Consider alternative treatment options. According to WebMD, making changes to your lifestyle can reduce your need for medications, which can consequently reduce and even eliminate medication costs all together. For example, chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure, diabetes and lower back pain require much less medication if the patient makes changes to his or her diet, or exercises more often and loses weight. For psychological disorders such as depression, patients can also consider support groups, therapy, counseling and other methods for coping with these illnesses.
  2. Choose generic. When medication costs begin to seem unattainable, it may be time to kick brand loyalty to the curb. Many brand-name medications come with generic equivalents that offer a high standard of quality to the patient. In fact, experts at Healthwise claim that both brand-name and generic drugs must meet the same high standards required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). For medications that don't have generic equivalents, it may be necessary to look into alternative medications that do offer generic options.
  3. Compare prices. Never assume that the price for medication at one pharmacy will be exactly the same at every other pharmacy. Because of this, you can find the best deal on medications by calling multiple pharmacies in the area to determine which one offers the best deal for the medicine you need. Buying medication online may also be a cost-effective choice, since many drugstore chains feature online savings offers for customers who choose this method for their medication needs. You can find credible and verified websites that offer this alternative by consulting the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy's website at www.nabp.net.

Although finding help with medical costs by adopting one of these methods may be slightly less convenient than simply sticking with a routine, the money saved from these efforts can add up significantly in the long run, making it all worth your while.

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