GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)- The pinch of record inflation over the past few months—can be felt at the pump, the grocery store, and even the pharmacy
High prescription drug costs are plaguing millions of Americans.
As part of our “Ask the Expert” series, in partnership with Bon Secours St. Francis, 7NEWS Anchor Taylor Murray spoke with a pharmacist about how to save on your medications.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half of Americans take at least one prescription medication daily.
As the cost of drugs rises, amid record inflation, there are ways to save at the pharmacy.
Holly Mcinnis, a doctor of pharmacy, says “We’re always happy to help save you money with us”.
There are discount cards available for certain drugs.
“So there’s a lot of discount cards out there. There are also manufacturer discount cards that a lot of people don’t know about,” Mcinnis said.
Splitting tablets—is another money-saving option for some.
“Sometimes prescriptions have this set of different strengths, sometimes the higher strength will be a little bit cheaper for the patient. They could dispense the higher strength, but split those tablets,” Mcinnis said.
Sometimes a larger supply means more bang for your buck.
“I would definitely recommend looking into getting a 90-day supply on your prescription. Not only does it save time in trips to the pharmacy, but it also saves cost. So, sometimes 30-day supplies are a lot more expensive than a 90-day prescription.”Dr. Hollly Mcinnis, PharmD, Bon Secours. St. Francis
There is one thing Mcinnis says you should never do to save money– skip a dose.
“It definitely can be extremely dangerous… For instance, say you’re on a maintenance inhaler, if you miss a few days, it could trigger an acute attack and it’s definitely harder to treat. Even if you’re on an antibiotic and you miss doses or you don’t finish your treatment, sometimes you can have a recurring infection and you can have some antibiotic resistance to those. Then, serious complications– if you miss one of your blood pressure pills, you know for weeks at a time, it definitely puts you at higher risk for stroke or heart attack– a lot of those serious complications that can be avoided,” Mcinnis said.
Mcinnis says most prescriptions your healthcare provider sends to the pharmacy will allow the substitution of a generic option— which is usually cheaper.
“Generic formulations of medications do have to meet certain criteria, so they are safe to take,” Mcinnis said.
If you don’t know whether you have a generic option for your prescription— just ask the pharmacist.
“We can look into seeing if a generic would be a lot more affordable than the brand name, which, in most cases it usually is.”Dr. Hollly Mcinnis, PharmD, Bon Secours. St. Francis
To tackle high prescription drug costs, the Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law by President Biden last month promises to cap the price of insulin for medicare patients at 35 dollars a month.
It also requires drug makers to pay rebates if prices increase faster than inflation and it ensures seniors never pay more than two thousand dollars annually for medications.
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