If you visited the doctor lately and you realized that you have been spending a lot of money on prescription drugs then, you are not alone. Millions of people around the world are spending more than they should. This is why I sat down with Dr. Andre Agoncillo, an experienced Physician, to unlock a few ways to cut costs on medications.
1. SWITCH TO THE GENERIC DRUGS
New prescription drugs are expensive because they are patented. Having a patent ensures that only a certain company can manufacture that drugs within a period of time. Afterwards, other companies are free to make a generic version of it.
Generic medicines are certainly cheaper and as efficacious as the patented medicines! Why is that so? New generic medicines are examined by the Health Sciences Authority to ensure that they have the same safety and quality standards as the patented ones. They must not only be chemically equivalent but also biologically equivalent in its effects within the patient’s body.
Interestingly, Singapore General Hospital once saved about S$900,000 after switching to the generic options of Gabapentin (for nerve pain), Alendronate (for osteoporosis), and Clindamycin (an antibiotic).
2. STICK TO THE REQUIRED DOSAGE
Some people go to further lengths in saving money by splitting the tablet into two and having twice the number of supply. But, doing so will only hinder the recovery process. In fact, Dr. Andre said that you may not recover at all. This is due to the fact that the prescribed dosage us their for a reason. Furthermore, to inhibit the harmful load of organisms, the threshold of efficacy for antibiotics must be reached by taking a specific volume of medications. Thus, it is important to stick to your prescribed dosage.
3. SHOP AROUND
When prescribed with medications, carefully compare the prices from the different providers to get the best price. According to Ministry of Health guidelines, every patient must get an itemized medication bill. Use this bill as a guide while shopping.
If you want to save more, ask your physician if there is a cheaper yet equally efficient alternative especially if you are taking medications on a long-term basis.
4. BE HONEST AND OPEN TO YOUR DOCTOR
The most important step you must take is having an open and honest talk with your doctor. Tell them everything that happened prior to your illness and do not beat around the bush because they are on a mission to understand what is happening inside your body. If you are open and honest, they can easily identify all your signs and symptoms and prescribe the right medications so that you will recover faster. By recovering at a slower rate, you would have saved money on medications and other hospital bills.
Moreover, if you delayed the full disclosure, your doctor may not be able to give you the proper treatment. So, do not be afraid or worried because your Physician is bounded by the rules of confidentiality.
For more information kindly email Dr. Andre Agoncillo at [email protected]. 🙂