Talk About Prescriptions Month on October, 2017: places that offer financial aid for prescriptions?

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places that offer financial aid for prescriptions?

Talk to your doctor about getting on the Patient Assistance Program. They have paperwork for this, or a special person in another building will have it and the doctor will have the contact number for you. You will have to fill out and sign a bunch of papers for the drug company for each prescription, then it gets sent to your doctyor so he/she can add a prescription to it. Then it is sent to the drug company(s). Then you wait a little while to see if you qualify. IF you do, then the drugs are sent to your doctor's office and you pick them up there. They will give you 3 months worth of each medication for a very small fee to no fee at all (I have had it as low as $5 for a 3 month's supply).

What does off-lable mean when talking about prescription drugs?

What does off-lable mean when talking about prescription drugs?

Saving Money on Your Prescription Drugs: Good and Bad Ideas

Learn about safe and effective ways to save money: from generic medicine to mail order pharmacies.

By R. Morgan Griffin

WebMD FeatureReviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MDFeel like the bill for your prescription drugs just keeps getting higher every time you go to the pharmacy? You could be right. Since 1990, U.S. spending for prescription drugs has increased by five times. In roughly the same period of time, retail prices of medications have risen almost 8% every year -- three times higher than the rate of inflation.

If you're trying to save on your prescription drugs, you're hardly alone. The good news is that there are a lot of popular, safe, and effective ways to do it. The bad news is that there are a lot of popular, not-so-safe and not-so-effective ways, too. To help you sort the good ideas from the bad, WebMD got some advice from prescription drug experts.

Good Idea: Talk to Your Doctor About Switching to a Generic Medicine

One of the smartest ways to get cheap prescription drugs is to switch from a brand name to a generic. "Generic drugs can offer a huge savings to patients," says Kevin Schulman, MD, professor of medicine and business administration at the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. On average, brand-name drugs are three times more expensive than generic drugs.

"Depending on the drugs you take, you could conceivably save hundreds of dollars a month by switching to generics," says Richard Sagall, MD, president and co-founder of NeedyMeds, a Philadelphia nonprofit that provides information about financial assistance for drugs.

There are a lot of generic options, too. "Sixty percent of all prescriptions in the U.S. are generic," Schulman says. More are available all the time. "Some of the generics we have now were brand name drugs just two or three years ago," Schulman tells WebMD. So when you go to the doctor next, ask if any of your high-priced prescription medicines now have a generic equivalent.

Bad Idea: Switch to an Alternative or Herbal Medication

The magazine ads and infomercials can be pretty tempting. Why not try out an "herbal" or "natural" alternative to high-priced prescription drugs? But while they might be cheaper, they might also be completely ineffective or, worse, dangerous.

"It's really confusing for people, because they just don't realize that herbal products are not regulated at all," says Schulman. Despite whatever claims are made in the ads, no one is testing these supplements to see if they work.

"Using one of these supplements to treat a serious medical condition could be life-threatening," says Schulman. Don't do it.

Good Idea: Get Higher-Dosage Pills and Split Them in Half

Some medications cost about the same, per pill, no matter what the dosage. An 80-milligram tablet of a drug might cost no more than a 40-milligram tablet. This quirky pricing gives you a big opportunity to save. Your doctor could write a prescription for double the dosage you actually need. Once you get the pills, you just split them in half with a pill cutter. And, presto, you've got two pills for the price of one -- more or less.

However, not all medications can be split safely. For instance, drugs that have special coatings or are slow-release should never be cut in half: you could wind up with side effects or a dosage that's too high. Your doctor will be very cautious in suggesting which of your pills can be cut, if any.

Bad Idea: Halve Your Dosages

This is another do-it-yourself solution to saving on prescription drug costs, and it's a really bad idea. People try to stretch out a prescription by splitting their prescribed dose in half, or taking it every other day instead of every day. Sure, they think, it's not ideal, but it saves money and gives them at least some of the drug's benefit, right?

Wrong. It might have no benefit. It might even be dangerous.

"Reducing your dose, without talking to your doctor, is really one of the worst ways to save money," says Schulman. "Some medications can be life-threatening if you don't take them exactly as directed, or if you stop taking them abruptly." In some cases, it might be safer not to take the medicine at all than to take half the dose, says Sagall.

You should never stop taking any medication without first talking to your doctor.

Good Idea: Use a Mail Order Pharmacy for Prescription Drugs

Getting discount prescription drugs from mail order pharmacies is another good way to save money. If you have insurance, your health plan might work with a company that provides cheaper mail order prescription drugs in bulk. Other mail order pharmacies cater to the uninsured; provided you meet the income eligibility, you can get drugs at steep discounts. Mail order pharmacies save you trips to the pharmacy, and that's especially important for people who are homebound.

Bad Idea: Use an Internet Pharmacy Advertised in an Email

You have to be very cautious when it comes to Internet pharmacies, says Schulman. No matter how slick the site looks, it might be phony. Some fraudulent online pharmacies sell expired or counterfeit medicines. The FDA says you should never buy from an Internet pharmacy that is outside the U.S. or that does not require a prescription. And even if a pharmacy meets those requirements, you should still be wary.

Good Idea: Review With Your Doctor All of the Prescription Drugs That You Take

Over the years, it's easy to rack up a lot of prescriptions. That's why, every once in a while, it's important to take stock of all the medicines you take with your doctor, Schulman says. Maybe you don't need them all anymore.

Inexpensive prescription medication?

Inexpensive prescription medication?

I would talk to an attorney about that. As far as I'm aware, it is illegal to buy prescription drugs from other countries. There is probably a lot of regulatory red tape you'll need to cut through, even if there is a loop hole.

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