Asking the right questions and knowing what to look for can cut down on prescription drug costs.
Do you find it increasingly difficult to pay for necessary prescription drugs?
You have health insurance but...
Maybe your drug co-pays have increased, or your plan require you to pay for the drug upfront and then be reimbursed a percentage of the cost later, or your doctor has prescribed a pricey brand-name drug that’s not covered by your plan.
There are ways that you can get the drugs you need to stay healthy — without breaking the bank.
It all starts with the good people at Phillips Pharmacy. Here are some of the ways that we can help you save money on your prescriptions:
1. Explore All Your Options
According to Thomas R. Bizzaro, registered pharmacist and vice president of health policy and industry relations at First Databank (a San Francisco–based provider of drug and medical device databases for the healthcare industry), make sure your physician always writes prescriptions allowing for a generic substitution.
“Talk to the pharmacist if you are prescribed a high-cost drug, and ask if there is a lower-cost alternative therapy,” says Bizzaro.
2. Go Generic, When Possible
A key way to reduce medication costs is to use generics rather than brand-name drugs, as generics can be 90 percent less expensive.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that generics have the same active ingredient as the brand-name drug.
The FDA's Office of Generic Drugs follows a rigorous review process to make sure that, compared to the brand-name (or innovator) medications, the proposed generic medications:
- Contain the same active/key ingredient;
- Have the same strength;
- Use the same dosage form (for instance, a tablet, capsule, or liquid); and
- Use the same route of administration (for instance, oral, topical, or injectable).
“Always ask your physician to allow generic substitution or write for generics whenever possible,” says Bizzaro. “If you have prescription insurance, generics are usually in the least expensive tier.”
Pharmacists can fill your prescription with a generic medicine even if the prescription was written for a brand-name drug, unless the doctor notes that it should be filled as written.
Always ask your pharmacist if there are any similar, less expensive drugs in the same therapeutic class that are used to treat your health condition. If there is, we will then follow up with your doctor for a new prescription.
If you don’t fully understand your Government's prescription drug plan, your pharmacist will have the answers for you. They can explain what drugs are included on the formulary.
The formulary is a list of prescription drugs covered by your Government's prescription drug plan or another insurance plan offering prescription drug benefits. It lists generic and brand-name drugs in a tiered pricing structure.
Barbados is now one of the few, if not the only country in the Americas, to have a web-based national drug formulary. Persons may access the extensive list of drugs available through the Barbados Drug Service’s National Drug Formulary by logging on to https://formulary.drugservice.gov.bb/bndf2022.
“The pharmacist at Phillips Pharmacy Online can point out options for different drugs used to treat your condition that may be more affordable."
4. Schedule a Medication Therapy Review
A key way your pharmacist can help you save money is to do a medication therapy review, which is an assessment of all your drugs and any medication-related questions or problems you may have.
If you want to do a review, it’s best to make an appointment. Our Pharmacist will visit you and review all of your medicines with you. This includes any over-the-counter medicines and nutritional supplements you’re taking.
Medication management and reviews are meant to assure that the patient’s drug therapy is appropriate. It can save money by assuring that dosing is correct, that unnecessary or discontinued drug therapy is not occurring, that there is no duplicate therapy, and that no drugs are administered that could cause known adverse events.
Our pharmacist can identify gaps in therapy depending on your health conditions or your age, which can ultimately save quite a lot of money by avoiding problems that could be prevented.
"For example, someone with diabetes may be at greater risk of heart or kidney problems and may need medicines to help avoid these serious health problems. Also, you may need certain vaccines to protect against the flu, pneumonia, or shingles, depending on your age, as treating these conditions can be extremely costly."
BETTER HEALTH & BEYOND EDITORIAL TEAM
At Phillips Pharmacy Online our vision is to be an integral part in transforming the way that healthcare is delivered in Barbados & beyond. We are a group of passionate people working hard to make a big positive impact on the lives of people. We work with Doctors, Pharmacists, Pharmaceutical Suppliers and most importantly, with You, to improve the health of all.
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Disclaimer of Medical Advice:
You understand that the blog posts and comments to such blog posts (whether posted by us, our agents or bloggers, or by users) do not constitute medical advice or recommendation of any kind, and you should not rely on any information contained in such posts or comments to replace consultations with your qualified health care professionals to meet your individual needs.