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Show 1197: How You Can Save Money on Medicines

Prices of prescription drugs have been rising at a rapid rate. Find out how you can save money on medicines and share your tips with other listeners.
Show 1197: How You Can Save Money on Medicines
Lisa Gill, Consumer Reports
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How You Can Save Money on Medicines

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Have your pharmacy bills been going up? When Consumer Reports surveyed its readers, 30 percent of them reported that their cost for a drug they take on a regular basis rose during 2019. About 12 percent of readers said their costs had soared by at least $100. What is going on here, and how can you save money on medicines that you need?

No Caps on Drug Prices:

An article in the January issue of Consumer Reports points out that there are no laws or regulations that would cap drug prices. Manufacturers get to charge whatever they think they can make. Until recently, most consumers had no idea how much their medicines cost, because they owed only a modest copay. Now, though, many insurance companies are demanding that patients pay more, possibly as much as 20 to 30 percent of the retail price. That can add up fast when a drug costs hundreds or thousands of dollars a month.

We spoke with the author of the article, Lisa Gill, about how you can save money on medicines. She shared plenty of good ideas you won’t want to miss. It makes sense to ask your doctor how much the treatment will cost. Sometimes a nonprescription medication will work nearly as well as the prescription your doctor is about to write. However, the physician may not be fully aware of the price.

Another option you may not have considered is negotiating with the pharmacist. Sometimes paying cash, without using your insurance, results in a lower bill. Websites like GoodRx.com or BlinkHealth.com can give you comparative shopping information as well as discount coupons.

Share Your Tips on Making Medicines Affordable:

We are certain that our listeners have also found plenty of ways to make their medicines more affordable. Email us or call in your suggestions Saturday, January 25, 2020, between 7 and 8 am EST. The number is 888-472-3366. Be sure to listen, as you may hear some ideas on saving money that you hadn’t considered before.

This Week’s Guest:

Lisa Gill is deputy content editor of Best Buy Drugs for Consumer Reports. The website is www.consumerreports.org/cro/health/prescription-drugs/best-buy-drugs/index.htm

Her article is here: https://www.consumerreports.org/drug-prices/the-shocking-rise-of-prescription-drug-prices/

You may also find our eGuide to Saving Money on Medicines of interest.

Listen to the Podcast:

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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