Getting a prescription that costs tenfold higher than you expected can be frustrating and much more if the amount is something you cannot really afford. You are not alone in this type of predicament, though. Some medications tend to be unreasonably expensive, whether covered by insurance, and it’s a problem for many patients.
Not filling your prescriptions probably crossed your mind many times, but there is hope if you’re struggling to afford your medicines. To help you ease your burden, here are the things you can do if you find that your medicine costs too much.
Check For Generic Alternatives
Patients often purchase the more costly brand name drug, thinking that the generic alternative is lesser in quality. But generics have the same active ingredients as the brand-name drugs they’re based on. Although they may vary in terms of color, shape, and packaging, they work the same as the branded ones.
If your prescription is costing you too much, you can ask for its generic alternative. Based on the Food and Drug Administration estimates, they cost about 85% less than the brand name.
But ask your doctor first if a generic drug will be appropriate, although pharmacists, in most states, can substitute generic products for brand names when the prescriber doesn’t indicate otherwise.
Apply For Patient Assistance Programs
There is help available for those who have trouble accessing their medications due to high costs. Pharmaceutical manufacturers offer patient assistance programs (PAPs) to provide patients with access to brand-name prescriptions for a free or low cost. You can apply for these programs and see if there is a patient assistance program available for your medications.
However, you have to bear in mind that each company sets its own rules and guidelines. Though they differ considerably, all of them have income guidelines. You may or may not qualify for their assistance, but it wouldn’t hurt to try. After all, many patients were able to get help with their medicines because of these programs.
Talk To Your Doctor
More often than not, patients don’t talk with their doctors about the cost of their prescriptions. They decide on their own not to fill a prescription without speaking up to their doctors about affordability concerns. But communication with your doctor is the key when the costs of your medication burden you.
Doctors may not talk about the price of the medicines they prescribe because they don’t know about how much it costs all the time. However, they can help you in several ways if you have concerns about your prescription costs.
Here are some of the things you can ask from your doctors:
Ask For Drug Samples
Pharmaceutical representatives often visit doctors and leave samples of their drugs. Though doctors may have policies regarding who can receive them, you may still ask about some drug samples of your prescriptions. These samples may not sustain you for a longer period, but they can help you until you figure out a long-term solution.
Ask For A Higher Dosage
Splitting pills is one of the strategies that has helped many patients save money from a high-cost prescription. Some drugs’ dosage is available twice higher than the lower doses, and they cost the same or almost the same.
It means that you can get two doses of your prescription for the price of one. However, not all prescriptions should be split. That’s why you must ask your doctor first if it applies to your case.
Ask For Other Options
Not all brand-name prescriptions have a generic equivalent. If you find out that there is no generic version for your medicine, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor for other options. They might recommend a similar medicine in the same class that is perhaps cheaper or has a generic alternative.
Look For Discount Coupons
One of the marketing strategies of pharmaceutical companies is to offer coupons or free trial periods on their patented drugs. If you take the time and effort to search for your prescriptions online, you may be able to find at least one money-saving coupon for your medicine. A 10 to 80 percent discount would already be a big help, especially if you’re on a tight budget.
Consider Online Pharmacies
Some items are cheaper when you purchase them online, and the same applies to medications. If you want to get your prescription at a lower cost, you can consider online pharmacies. This way, you’d also be able to compare prices from different pharmacies much easier.
Note that the prices of your prescriptions may differ from one pharmacy to another. By shopping around, you’d be surprised to find the considerable amount of money you can save when you compare their prices. Before you fill your prescription, consider looking at different pharmacies online to find the price that best suits your budget.
The cost of your prescriptions may depend on its type and how often you need it. But no matter how costly it can get, not filling your prescription is not the right solution for any affordability concern. Your health is essential, and there are several options you can explore if the medicine prescribed by the doctor is beyond your means. Make your health a priority, and don’t hesitate to ask for help.