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The Myth of Research and Development:  Exposing the Pharmaceutical Industry

What can you do to reduce the high cost of your medications?

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What can you do to reduce the high cost of your medications?

Checkout the information below to make sure you are taking advantage of all the resources here in the United States.  Next ask your doctor to order medications for you from Canada which could be 40-60% lower than the U.S. prices (check comparison chart, you can also go online to research the drug prices).  Or you can order medications from Canada via the Internet. There are many Internet sources and senior citizens groups that offer this service for their members.  

Ask your doctor for free samples.  This is a particularly good idea if you are prescribed a new medication and are not sure how long you will be taking it.

Ask your physician if you can substitute a cheaper, generic drug or over-the-counter medication.

Shop around because different pharmacies can charge different prices for the same drug.  It is important to research which pharmacy has the best price.  Also, look into mail-order prescription drug services.

Explore your Medical Assistance eligibility.  Depending on your income and resources, you may be eligible to have all of your prescriptions paid for at no cost to you.  For more information, contact your local County Assistance Officer or the Pennsylvania Health Law Project at 800-274-3258.

If you qualify, however, you can receive deeply discounted or free medications.  The pharmaceutical industry will send you a free booklet explaining their programs.  To receive a copy of this booklet, contact 1-800-762-4636 (while you are on the phone tell them you want to see pharmaceutical prices lowered in the United States). 

Explore Medicare HMOs for your county and what prescription drug coverage they offer.  Medicare HMOs are leaving Pennsylvania or are dropping their prescription drug coverage at an alarming rate.  The are some areas of the state, however, where Medicare HMOs with prescription drug coverage still exist.  Contact Apprise at 1-800-783-7067 for the names of Medicare HMOs in your county.  Before changing or joining an HMO, ask lots of questions such as:

  • Does the HMO include my doctor in its network?
  • Is there a monthly premium and if so, how much?
  • Are my present prescription drugs on the HMO formulary?
  • Is there an annual limit on generic or brand-name drugs?
  • What is the cost for uncovered drugs?

Explore the Veterans Administration's low and no-cost health care options for Veterans who have
served on active duty in the Armed Forces and have received an Honorable or a General Discharge. 
For more information, contact 1-800-827-1000.

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