What’s a Smart Way to Save Money on Drugs?
Hello, friends! You will agree that the prices for many medicines are not cheap even when the economy is stable. Now, treatment and the purchase of medicines are becoming very expensive. And if you have a prolonged or chronic illness, it is simply a disaster for the family budget. But the idea of saving on medicines at first glance seems unreasonable and even dangerous. Yet, there are smart ways to minimize the cost of drugs.
How can I save money on medicines?
Probably the best way to reduce your drug costs is to not get sick. If you take care of your health in advance, you will be able to avoid future catastrophic and budget-ruinous drug costs. Proper nutrition, normal sleep, sports and a healthy lifestyle help to maintain and strengthen health. All people know these rules but still do not follow them. But what if you’re already sick? In this case, you can also find alternative ways to save money.
For example, if you have a cold, you should not immediately buy various pills and drops. Sometimes, you can defeat a mild cold with grandmother’s natural recipes (delicious tea made from berries, aromatic decoctions of herbs, lemon and honey, a vitamin mixture prepared from dried fruits (raisins, prunes, dried apricots), nuts (walnuts, almonds, pine nuts). Natural remedies are more useful and effective than some pharmacy medicines and do not cause side effects.
Of course, today, you cannot do without medicines, even if you are absolutely healthy. Every home should always have a first aid kit to treat minor ailments and minor injuries. These can be medicines for headaches or any other pain, for stomach upset, for nausea and cramps, for treating wounds and burns.
In order not to spend too much when creating a home first-aid kit, you should not buy essential medicines just in case and in large quantities. It is still impossible to foresee all the situations that may occur. If necessary, you can always buy medicines in the right amount. But if someone in your family suffers from serious chronic diseases, you should always have special drugs in a home first-aid kit.
Different pharmacies set different prices for the same medicine because each pharmacy chain has its own pricing policy (the price of the drug depends on the price of its purchase and the mark-up that each drugstore sets individually). For example, Canadian Pharmacy prices are much lower than those in other online pharmacies. Learn how to choose the right pharmacies where you can buy medicines at the lowest price.
Of course, finding the most profitable option does not mean running around all the pharmacies in the city. Now it is easier than ever to do this. You can find information about any pharmacy in your city on the Internet, you just need to compare prices and make a choice. In extreme cases, you can also monitor prices by phone.
To save money, you can also use discounts and promotions that are held in pharmacies regularly (the price of the medicine can be reduced significantly, but at the same time you need to check the shelf life of the medicine). Many pharmacies offer a discount when you pay for medicines using bank cards.
But there is another opportunity to significantly reduce the cost of medicines – you can replace the original brand-name drugs with their analogues.
Drug analogues: risk or benefit?
When you are buying a particular drug at a pharmacy, a pharmacist often asks you a question: “Do you need the original medicine or its analogue?” Many original medicines have cheap analogues, and the difference in price can be colossal.
At the same time, you should know that the original medicine and its substitute have almost the same therapeutic properties because they use the same active substance.
If they work the same way, why overpay? Perhaps buying cheap analogues instead of expensive branded drugs is the opportunity that will allow you to save money on medicines.
Generic or original medicine. What to choose?
Let’s try to understand the subtleties of the pharmaceutical production of medicines. This is necessary to understand why generics are so cheap and how safe they are.
What is a generic drug? This is a copy of the original medicine and its legitimate reproduction. Generics are completely safe and very similar to the original product but at the same time they are much cheaper. And this is perhaps its main advantage over the original medicine.
Why are generics cheaper?
Generic drugs are cheaper because the manufacturer of the original drug spends huge amounts of money on its creation, research, and promotion. And in order to recoup these costs, the drug is given a certain time limited by the term of patent protection.
When this period ends, nothing prevents other pharmaceutical companies from synthesizing a similar drug based on the same active substance that was used in the original. And this is how a generic drug appears, which is more accessible to the consumer.
The price of the original medicine may decrease due to the release of an analog but usually, it still remains quite high.
In contrast, the production of an analogue requires much less time and money: manufacturers use a ready-made formula, avoid clinical studies (because the active substance has already been tested).
There are still differences. And it’s not just the different names and the price. These are features in the production technology, different color, taste, size, shape of the drug, different composition of excipients, their ratio and combination.
These seemingly insignificant nuances can affect the side effects or therapeutic effects of the drug. For this reason, a substitute for the original medicine may not always be suitable for a specific patient. For example, you cannot use a generic medicine if you have cancer and are constantly using original cancer drugs. Replacing the original medicine with its counterpart is not always a good idea. And it is better to do it after consulting a doctor.
The conclusion is obvious: replacing expensive original drugs with their cheap analogues in order to save money is a good option. But we do not recommend experimenting if you suffer from a chronic disease. The benefit gained by buying a cheap analog can lead to new and more serious expenses.
But if no one in your family suffers from serious illnesses and you just want to create a home first aid kit, then it is not necessary to spend money on expensive originals. You can use generics instead.
Tags: drugs, medication, medicine, pharmacy, prices