Prescription Drug Costs

Prescription Drug costs increase but consumers can pay less to get the same medication.   Drug sales representatives bribe doctors with vacations and other rewards to prescribe expensive medications.  Drug Sales representatives even buy food for doctor’s office staff.  Many doctors will prescribe the most expensive medications out of loyalty to the Sales Representatives.  If the doctors were not influenced, the drug companies would not pay such high salaries to the drug sales people.   If you do not want to not pay such a high mark up, you must firmly ask your doctor if there are any generic alternatives to the medicines that they prescribe.  If they do not know, you can look up the medications online at http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cder/drugsatfda/index.cfm to find the active ingredient and see if it is sold under the name of the ingredient or another name.  You can also consult your pharmacist or insurance provider.  Then call the doctor back and ask for a new prescription.   They should be able to call your pharmacy over the phone.  One great doctor that I see gave me two generic antibiotics for a secondary infection from a cold, one prescription was $4 and the other was $2. If you have health insurance and the prescription is for more than a month or two, ask you insurance company or human resources department about mail order drugs.  These can be ordered though the mail with an envelope and form provided by the insurance company.  You must have a 90 day prescription, not including refills.  Your doctor may add ninety day refills on the prescription, of course.  Just remember to always ask you doctor for a ninety day prescription if you will need to take the medicine for that much time.    If you did not get the ninety day prescription you may download or request a fax form.  This form can be faxed to your doctor’s office and they just fax in the form to the fax number provided.  You simply add your name and information to the form.  You doctor will add the prescription.  If you do not have health insurance you can contact the drug maker to discuss a lower or zero price of you can not afford the drug.  In some cases an even less expensive method is available.  Some medicines become over the counter medications.  I once had a pulled muscle and my doctor prescribed a brand name medicine that contained ibuprofen.  I asked him if I could just take Advil.  He said yes just take three at a time.  At Costco Wholesale I bought a bottle of generic over the counter ibuprofen that compared to Advil and took three a day.  I have used these pills when ever I had a headache or muscle soreness and the bottle still has not run out.  The military has done studies to show that aspirin and other medicines can be stored for longer than we previously thought.  The total cost was $7.  Another good doctor told me to get Afrin when I have a cold which is over the counter.  Costco had a generic of this too.  Claritin and other prescription drugs are now available this way.