Sunday, February 8, 2009

Strategies for Saving on Prescription Drugs

Drugs have never been so expensive — or so cheap

News reports and anecdotal evidence indicate that the recession is prompting many people to skimp on prescription drugs, putting their health at risk now and setting them up for higher medical expenses in the long term. So now is a good time to take a hard look at what you spend on prescriptions and figure out how you can make that money go farther.

The average brand-name prescription cost an eye-popping $120 in 2007, according to the most recent data from the Kaiser Family Foundation. That was up from $111 the year before. The average generic in 2007 was a mere $34, according to Kaiser. These days you can buy many generic drugs for as little as $4 for a 30-day supply at WalMart or Target, and many other retailers are offering steep discounts.

Switching to generics is obviously one of the best options, if your doctor approves. But generics aren’t the answer in every case. So before you go to the pharmacy, or your drug Web site, consider these strategies for lowering your prescription bills.


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