Many senior citizens spend thousands of dollars each year on medication to treat chronic ailments like diabetes, rheumatism, hypertension and heart disease. While one cannot avoid seeking treatment for such ailments through medication, paying for prescriptions should not take a toll on the wallet. Creative methods should be adopted in order to cut costs without compromising on the quality of medication. Here’s how:
Go for generic medication
Some people may have the impression that generic medication is inferior compared to its brand name counterparts. This does not hold true, as the quality of generic medication is on par with brand name ones.
Generic drugs are copies of brand-name drugs that have exactly the same dosage, intended use, effects, side effects, route of administration, risks, safety, and strength as the original drug. In other words, their pharmacological effects are exactly the same as those of their brand-name counterparts. The main reason for their low price is that companies producing the generic versions of a brand-name drug don’t incur as much cost in the whole process of manufacturing and marketing their product than the original creators of the drug.
Always ask your doctor for a generic equivalent of your medication. You can also ask your pharmacist’s recommendation of generic prescription drugs which work just as well. Resorting to generic medication can save you money.
Order medication via mail
Using a mail order prescription service for your medication is another way of saving money. It is not only convenient, but it costs less than medication sold in pharmacies as it eliminates the services of the middle man. Since your order will usually arrive after about 2 weeks, you should order far in advance before your supply runs out. Such services are convenient for senior citizens as they circumvent the hassle of having to take a trip to the pharmacy, especially if it is a distance away from home.
Secure samples of medication at no cost by asking your doctor for them instead of getting a prescription. Doctors and hospitals get samples of new prescriptions on a regular basis that they can issue to patients.
Keep up-to-date on specials
Apply for loyalty programme cards at pharmacies like Priceline and Chemist Warehouse for further discounts on medication and receive their newsletter updates on specials. Look for coupons at drug manufacturer’s websites.
Compare prices of medication by calling up pharmacies to find the lowest prices for the product you are in search of. Alternatively, check out pharmacy websites for the cost of each medication you intend to purchase to get an idea of the prices available in the market. Choose to switch pharmacies for better deals.
Sign up for discounts
Many pharmacies offer discount and membership cards for seniors. Ask to sign up for these cards for more savings.
Buy in bulk
If you have a chronic condition, buying medication in bulk will help you save more through discounts offered.
Consider alternative medication such as acupuncture, herbal medicine and massage therapy to treat your ailment. The benefit of seeking alternative remedies is by-passing the intake of harsh chemicals that some modern pills contain. Undergoing alternative treatment may improve your ailment over time. Compare private health insurance plans, or check your existing policy to make sure it covers the cost for alternative therapy.
The next time your doctor gives you a prescription, ask for alternatives instead of going straight to the local pharmacy. As explained above, there are many ways you can consider trying to cut costs on your medication expenses without having to resort to inferior medicine. This is especially so for senior citizens who need to be more judicious with their spending to stretch their retirement funds.
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