December 15, 2017
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Wellness Tip

Don't Hesitate to Ask About Lower-Cost Drug Options

by Berkeley Wellness  

If you have trouble paying for your prescription drugs or their copays, ask your doctor or other health care provider or pharmacist about lower-cost options. About 27 percent of people over age 50 report that their out-of-pocket drug costs pose a substantial financial burden, according to the University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging, sponsored by AARP.

Half of these people said they did not discuss this with their doctors, but of those who did, two-thirds said they were prescribed a lower-cost drug (perhaps a generic equivalent). About one-third got helpful advice from pharmacists. Doctors, clinic staff, and pharmacists can often help patients find programs that can reduce costs, as well as discount cards.

Doctors usually don’t know how much patients pay for drugs and seldom ask, so patients should bring this up themselves, particularly if they are having financial problems. High cost often leads people to reduce or skip doses or not refill prescriptions.

Also see How Good Are Generic Drugs?