Pre$cription Drug$: Can You Afford Not to Take Them?
Many older Americans report not being able to afford their prescription drugs. While drug costs continue to increase, consider the cost of not treating your medical condition. The following tips illustrate some ways by which you may be able to better afford your prescription drugs.
Talk To Your Health Provider
First and foremost, talk to your health provider about the cost of your medications. Tell him or her you need cheaper, effective medications. He or she may know of assistance programs or be able to suggest alternative therapies.
Generic and Over-The-Counter
Many medications are available in generic form or may be available without a prescription resulting in cost savings. Ask your health provider about the possibility of generic or over-the-counter medications.
Compare prescription drug prices at several different pharmacies.
Always take medications as prescribed by your health professional.
Buy In Bulk
Often money may be saved by purchasing prescriptions in larger quantities, such as a 90-day supply rather than a 30-day supply. Talk to your health professional or pharmacist about receiving larger quantities of prescription medications.
Some medications are available in larger doses and may be safely split. This may save money as larger dose pills are often less expensive. Ask your health provider or pharmacist about this option for your medication.
Federal and state government agencies, private foundations and many pharmaceutical companies offer assistance programs to individuals who meet certain age and/or financial need requirements. Links to those services may be found below.
Where To Find Help
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services or 1.800.MEDICARE
- Area Agencies on Aging of Texas or 1-800-252-9240
- Needy Meds
- Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America
Written by Andrew B. Crocker, MS, Extension Program Specialist–Gerontology Health, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Texas A&M System, College Station, Texas. September, 2004.
Last updated: June 25, 2015