Out of pocket costs for COPD medications can be high. But these medications can be life-saving, or at the least, a great boon to your quality of life. So, I thought it might be interesting to look at some ways you might be able to save money on your prescription medications.
Tips for Saving Money on Prescriptions
- Get free samples from your doctor. Pharmaceutical sales people often leave samples of prescription medications with doctors, in hopes that the medical staff will be more inclined to prescribe those drugs. So, if cost is an issue for you, think about asking your doctor if any free samples are available. This is especially likely for newer drugs, which also tend to be the most expensive.
- Ask your doctor to prescribe generic, rather than name brand, versions of medication whenever possible. New medication brands are protected from competition for 7 years after their introduction, but after that other companies are free to create generic versions of those drugs. Generic medications often cost as little as half or a third of brand name versions, yet are the same exact chemical make-up, and can be just as effective.
- Comparison shop for your prescriptions at different pharmacies in your area, or even online. Surprisingly, costs for medications can vary widely from store to store. It can really pay to take the time to shop around. You don’t have to visit each store. Often, you can do the research online or via a simple phone call to the pharmacy.
- Check the website for the medicine you’ve been prescribed to see if they offer any kind of patient assistance program (PAP). Some companies give free or low cost medicines to people in need, while others allow the use of a prescription discount card.
- Talk openly and honestly with your doctor if you’re having trouble affording your medications. Choosing to not take your prescribed medications (or taking them less) because you can’t afford to fill or refill a prescription is not the best choice, but it happens. If you’re in this situation, talk with your doctor to see if you can find a solution that will work for your budget and also keep your symptoms under control.
Prescription medications are an important part of a COPD treatment plan. But any treatment plan needs to take into account the financial resources of the person being treated. Hopefully, you can use one or more of the tips in this post to fulfill your needs.