Prescription Drug Help
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Looking for Cheap Prescription Drugs
I am in need of the Website to order and view online prescriptions and their costs in Canada vs. the United States for my mother. She is a senior citizen, who recently went through open-heart surgery. She currently does not have an insurance program for prescriptions and has been faced with a list of prescriptions she will be using for the rest of her life at a very high cost.
You know the story. It's a familiar one. She is going through her retirement money very fast and was not expecting the cost of medicine to be so high.
An Address to Check for Discounts
I found this on the Internet. I have lost the e-mail address but do have a toll free number that I call.
Maple Leaf Meds
PO Box 3299
Prescriptions shipped by:
The Medicine Shoppe
# 122 1959-152 St.S.
Surrey, BC V4A OE3 CANADA
I have been able to save 3/4 on my prescriptions. I had to have copies of written prescriptions from my doctor. They checked back with my doctor just to be sure.
Advice for Locating Cheap Prescription Drugs
Ask your doctor for samples of all drugs prescribed to make sure your body can tolerate them.
Discuss your concern about the drug cost with your doctor to see if a contact for free drugs can be arranged with the drug companies making the drugs she needs.
See if there may be a drug program in her community or state that may be available to her based on her income or net worth.
Review the available reduced price plans each major drug company now offers for its products.
Review the drug discount plans offered by several of the organizations that assist the various drug companies market their products. One now offered at no cost is AdvanceRx advancerx.com.
Discuss the possible availability of equivalent generic drugs with your doctor. In all cases they will be substantially lower in cost.
Check all legitimate Internet sources of those approved by The National Association of Boards of Pharmacies via their Internet address: .nabp.net.
Review the Canadian Internet sources, making sure that they list an actual brick and mortar pharmacy before even considering asking for their prices covering the drugs you need.
Understand that each pharmacy, local or Internet may offer a drug at a different price, based on their actual cost to purchase and dispense it. Not all drugs are in equal demand in all parts of the country or in Canada, thus some drugs purchased in Canada may actually cost more than were you to purchase them from a local source.
Be sure to include the shipping and handling cost in your price comparison between sources.
Consider purchasing in a larger lot size if it is a drug that you will be taking for some foreseeable time, but do NOT do so until you have tested and learned that your body can tolerate it.
Learn if your prescribed drug can be purchased as a tablet in twice or four times the therapeutic dose needed and review this with your doctor to verify that these tablets can be safely split to yield substantial savings. You may find that such effort can reduce your unit cost by half or more on some drugs.
Website to Check Out
They mentioned that Walgreens.com can be cheaper than buying at their stores. I have not verified any of this, but thought it would be worth forwarding the information.
Reduced Drug Programs
Check out Pfizer's Share Card 1-800-717-6005. Also check out RxHope.com, which gives info about prescription drug assistance programs.
Some Strategies That May Help
Even with health insurance, prescriptions can get really expensive. I've checked out prices at online pharmacies (like drugstore.com) and they're often much lower than the regular local prices. However, here are a couple other strategies I use that have made my daily drugs cost even less. This may apply for short-term prescriptions as well as ongoing ones.
- Increase the Quantity. If you have to take a medication for the long term, ask your doctor to write your prescription for more than just a month's worth. He or she probably won't care as long as your dosage has been regulated. I used to pay co-pay each month, until I found out those three co-pays more than covered the actual three-month cost. Now I forego prescription insurance altogether and just pay the bill myself. It costs less, and I like that the insurance company doesn't know everything about me. Also, fewer trips to the pharmacy. Please note that most insurance companies will only cover a 30-day supply and that my prescription is inexpensive compared to many others. But it doesn't hurt to check!
- Call around. Out of curiosity, I started getting quotes from different drug stores. Recently, the prices at four chain store pharmacies ranged from $38.99 to $54.59 for a three-month supply. That's a big difference!
- Ask questions and match ads. I always fill my prescription at the local Wal-Mart. They match any other pharmacy's price and coupons, and often keep the lowest price in my computer record for a few months. Other pharmacies I've checked back up their low-price guarantee with cash back. When I refilled in August, I paid $33.69 (February's lowest price) plus received a $20 gift card by using a transfer incentive coupon from another pharmacy's ad.
Ways to Find Cheap Prescription Drugs
I work for a state agency on aging and the following are the suggestions we make to help defray the costs of prescriptions. Check to see if your mother is eligible for Medicaid or Medicare. If your mother is a senior citizen then check with the local area agency on aging for assistance. Ask the doctor for samples. Especially if it's a new medicine and not sure if there will be a reaction or not.
Look for generic, both online and in the drug store. Shop around for prices especially at large stores like Target, Wal-Mart and Sam's Club. Don't always expect the drug store to be the best price. As a warning, let ALL pharmacies know of ALL of the medicines being taken. You don't need a drug interaction. Is she eligible for veteran's benefits (1-877-222-8387)? Ask for senior discounts or special days to buy medicines for a discount.
There are also pharmaceutical manufacturers who offer low or free medicines. Some of the sites to get the information are: needymeds.com; themedicineprogram.com; phrma.org. Also there are 4 major pharmaceutical company discount programs. They are: Pfizer share card at 1-800-717-6005 or pfizer.com; Novartis care card at 1-866-974-2273 or Novartis.com and GlaxoSmithKline Orange Card at 1-888-672-6436. If you order on line, make sure the pharmacy is licensed. There is work involved but affordable prescriptions can be had.
Take the Next Step
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