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Has anyone read this book:

How to save on prescription drugs: 20 cost-saving methods by Edward Jardini MD


There was an article in the local newspaper about it and it looks like it has some interesting ideas.

Example: Schedule annual meds review with your doctor---seperate from physical.
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>> Example: Schedule annual meds review with your doctor---seperate from physical. <<

We sort of did this at the start of this year.

We were switched from a PPO to an HDHP with HSA this year. My wife was taking one name-brand medication that cost us a $25 monthly co-pay. This year, until the $2500 deductible is met, the entire cost of that medication -- about $90 -- is our full responsibility.

So in January, my wife saw her practitioner and discussed the situation. We did some research and saw that the $90 drug was very similar to another drug the same manufacturer had an expired patent on. So we asked about that, and she agreed to try putting the missus on the drug which had the expired patent -- which we could buy for about $10 per month in generic. It seems to work as well, and my wife says it makes her less drowsy than the name brand $90 form of the medications did.

That's $960 back into our pockets each year by doing a little research and asking questions.

#29
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We did some research and saw that the $90 drug was very similar to another drug the same manufacturer had an expired patent on. So we asked about that, and she agreed to try putting the missus on the drug which had the expired patent -- which we could buy for about $10 per month in generic.

Good for you guys! The author mentioned that there are a lot of fine drugs available that are skipped over for the latest version of drugs that do the same thing. The reason why is big Parma make sure that doctors show a preference for the new stuff by giving them samples.

Other potential cheaper alternatives are drugs from Mexico/Canada that are not prescribed in the US. Before I got drug coverage, I used to go down to border towns in Mexico to fill my Rxs. However none of those pharmacies had a particular drug that I needed. So my doctor recommended a good substitute that was only sold outside of the US.

Yeah I am going to be forced into an HSA next year too. The author includes a list of cheaper alternatives for common drugs, so I'm hoping mine are on the list...
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>> Yeah I am going to be forced into an HSA next year too. The author includes a list of cheaper alternatives for common drugs, so I'm hoping mine are on the list... <<

I wasn't really "forced" into an HSA since we could have chosen a PPO option. But they raised the deductible sharply on the PPO option, AND the HSA option was $1000 a year less out of my paycheck than the PPO option, AND my employer kicks in $600 to the HSA. So in that light, it was an easy choice to make, given that the HSA is $1600 better right off the bat and the deductible was only $1700 higher at the family level.

And even though I don't think the HDHP/HSA solution is the magic bullet for our health care mess in all cases, in our situation it works well, and it definitely does show the potential power of informed consumers in the health care market.

#29
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I hope you are aware of the LBYM Drugs board where we try to keep each other up to date on the latest programs to save on prescription drugs.

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=26628184

The Walmart $4 generic program is the biggie, but it has taken Walmart to the no 3 position in prescriptions in the US behind Walgreens and CVS. And now many grocery stores with pharmacies are copying the Walmart program. $4 for 30 day supply or $10 for 90 day supply is now available in most areas.
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I realize this is pointing out something most people today are at least somewhat aware of, but finding alternatives to drugs is another way to save. Not always instead of drugs completely, but maybe for taking fewer drugs, or, in some cases (e.g. pain management) lower doses of the drug are possible after lifestyle changes, diet, exercise, etc.

Doesn't always work for all people for all illnesses, but many have found success, and by doing so, you save not only money but also the side effects and save yourself also the (often not fully understood) effects of decades long long-term use of a drug, or save yourself from needing a higher dose of the same drug for the rest of your life..
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Good point Edlbym.

Over on the Fools Under Pressure board (high blood pressure), indeed the subject of controlling bp with stress management, exercise and diet rather than drugs has been discussed--

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=26563956

There is considerable literature on the subject and some people do quite well with that approach.

To each his own. Whatever works for you.

But it is certainly worthwhile reminding people that there are alternatives to medications that can be effective in some cases.
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