Whether you’re talking about antibiotics for a bad ear infection, blood pressure medication, or birth control pills, prescription drugs can really do a number on your budget.
Elderly folks are hit particularly hard by the high the cost of prescription medications as they are more likely to be on multiple medications at the same time. I remember before my mom passed away she had to take about eight different pills every day.
In 2014, Americans spent about $374 billion on medication and that number will only continue to rise as Baby Boomers age and the number of senior citizens increases.
Fortunately there is a very easy way to save money on your prescription medications: ask your doctor to consider prescribing generic versions rather than the brand name drugs.
According to the FDA, generic drugs cost 80 to 85 percent less than their brand name counterparts.
Knowing how much their patients can save, some doctors will automatically prescribe generics whenever possible. Pharmacists too will often reach out to a doctor and ask if a generic can be substituted for a brand name drug, so don’t be afraid to ask.
Unfortunately no. Pharmaceutical companies have the exclusive right to sell the drugs they develop for 20 years, the time during which the drug may not be sold in its cheaper, generic form. Once that time period expires, other drug manufacturers can jump in and create generic versions and sell them for much less.
If you’re taking newer a newer medication that doesn’t have a generic counterpart, you still have some options. Ask your doctor if there is replacement drug you can use that does come in generic form. If not, shop around a few different pharmacies to see how much they charge and look for the best deal.
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