A new survey from Consumer Reports found that 48 percent of people taking a prescription altered the way they were supposed to take their medicine to cut costs. Some patients delayed going to the doctor or having a medical procedure or test. Others took more drastic steps to save money, including:
- Not having a prescription filled
- Using an expired medication instead
- Skipping doses
- Splitting pills
- Sharing a prescription
If you’re having trouble paying for your prescription, the first step is to talk to your doctor. They may be able to prescribe a generic medication or have other suggestions, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Generic drugs, which can cost up to 80 percent less than brand name medicines, use the same active ingredients, according to the FDA.
Patients may also be eligible for drug assistance programs. Some pharmaceutical company also offer financial help for those who qualify.
Health officials warn against skipping, splitting or sharing doses. Patients can put themselves at risk for complications, infections and serious illness. Always take your medicine as prescribed by your doctor.
Sources: Consumer Reports; Food and Drug Administration
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