Consumer Reports: Save on high-priced prescriptions

FILE - Prescription medication

Americans spend more money on drugs than people in any other country. A recent Consumer Reports survey of people who take prescription medications found that high drug costs are forcing some of them to cut back on groceries, delay their retirement, or even take a second job. Consumer Reports reveals simple ways to save on the drugs you need.

First, talk to your doctor. In an earlier survey, CR found that 70 percent of people who asked their doctor if they could cut down on their medications were able to eliminate at least one drug. So, ask your doctor whether you still need all the medicine you are taking.

If a drug is necessary, ask your doctor about the cost. Most doctors do not regularly discuss drug costs with their patients. But, don’t be afraid to take the lead on this. Asking your doctor for cheaper alternatives can save you money. Also, using generics can save you up to 85 percent.

Tip number 3: think 90-day supply. If you have a chronic condition like diabetes or high blood pressure, you can save money by getting a 90-day prescription from your doctor.

Finally, always ask your pharmacist, “What’s the lowest possible price you can offer?” And here’s a bonus tip: Consumer Reports secret shoppers called over 150 pharmacies across the country to compare prices, and found that the cost of the same prescription can vary by hundreds of dollars even in the same town. So, it can really pay for you to call around, too, to find the best price.

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