NOTE: If you see ads on this page promoting Canadian pharmacies, this does not mean I endorse those ads or am suggesting that you investigate them. I have no control over which ads appear. I've left the block of ads because they change from time to time, and some of the links may prove to be valuable to you.

A Personal Recommendation from Barbara:

I urge you to visit the website of Dr. West Conner, a pharmacist on the Web who has become a valued business friend of mine and a source of excellent information on how to save money on prescription drugs. Be sure to subscribe to his mailing list (very informative with some good humor as well).

Buying Rx Drugs Online: Avoiding a Prescription for Disaster, by Kate Chase

Buying Drugs from Canada

I've refrained from comment on this topic because there has been considerable controversy over whether we should be doing this. I believe this is a decision individuals must make on their own.

 

 

How to Save Money
on Prescription Drugs

Another lesson learned
by Barbara Brabec

This information is for seniors and low-income folks who are having a difficult time paying for necessary prescription drugs.

Programs Just For Seniors

Several states have state programs for seniors, and you can get a list of them at rxAssist.org along with a comparative list of available drug discount cards.

See also RXOutreach, an easy and affordable way for people of all ages to get medicines they need. Through this program, people who qualify financially can get more than 50 generic medications that treat a wide range of conditions including diabetes, asthma, heart disease, and depression. People may take advantage of the program even if they receive medicines through another discount program. The program is available to individuals and families with incomes of up to 250 percent of the federal poverty level. (For a family of four, this figure is about $47,000 per year.) 

NOTE: Generic isn't always cheaper. Pay attention to this: Thinking you can save money, you might ask your doctor for the generic of an expensive drug, but if this drug happens to be on the "discount list" of your drug prescription program, the non-generic version might well be obtained for less than the generic. 

Tip for ALL Prescription Drug Users: Whatever your age, if you have a high RX bill in your house, it will pay you to check out prices with every pharmacy in your area. When one drug store that my husband and I had been using went out of business, I called all the pharmacies in town, checking the prices of our most expensive medications, and found that some drug stores were charging two or three times more than others for exactly the same drug, same strength, and same quantity. Some good "ripping off" going on here, I decided. 

Programs for Low-Income Folks of Any Age

If you or your loved ones can't afford necessary prescription drugs, call 1-800-762-4636 to get a free Directory of Patient Assistance Programs from members of PhRMA (Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America). The directory explains each manufacturer's requirements on how to obtain their drugs free, or for a very low fee. (Generally, drugs are shipped to one's doctor, who in turn dispenses them to the patient.) Anyone who is refused by a drug manufacturer should save the refusal letter as it will be needed for the next step that can be taken to obtain free medicine. (Note: I couldn't find this directory on the website, but I was told that it was available through the toll-free number provided above.)

Free Medicine

When a friend told me she had bone cancer and couldn't afford the medicine she needed, I quickly sent her links to the above programs, realizing that a lot of people probably don't know about them. Check out The Medicine Program. Anyone who is refused assistance from a drug manufacturer and does not have insurance or a government program that pays for outpatient prescription medicines may qualify to enroll in this privately sponsored program that provides medicines at NO COST. (There is a $5 application fee, however, for each medicine you request.) Details are on the website.

SUMMARY: No matter how you carve it, high drug costs are a terrible burden, not only for seniors, but for all families today, many of whom don't even have hospital insurance. And prices are only going to get higher in the future. To save money, (and preserve more of our home-business profits), we must pursue every avenue open to us and do a lot of comparison shopping.

 

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