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5 Easy Ways To Save Big Money On Prescription Drug

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Most consumers are aware that they can save money on
costly medications by asking their doctor to prescribe
generic equivalents. Here are five additional cost-cutting

* Ask for free samples. Doctors are deluged with samples
from manufacturers. You might get a week or more of an
expensive drug for free. Just make sure to check expiration

* Use mail order, when appropriate. But only with drugs
that you're familiar with, because you will not have the
benefit of a face-to-face meeting with the pharmacist.

* Don't let your insurance company impose limits on
prescription length. Ask your doctor to substitute "take as
directed" instead of "take once a day," making it more
likely that your entire prescription will be covered. Note
dosage frequency on the bottle yourself.

* Avoid time-release formulations, which are more costly,
in exchange for the convenience of taking the medication
less frequently.

* Look into patient-assistance programs. Such programs are
offered by most pharmaceutical makers but rarely
publicized. Contact the manufacturer to ask whether your
financial hardship circumstances qualify you for free
medication. (Usually, the only documentation required is a
note from the doctor.)

Source: Donald Sullivan, "Consumer's Guide to Drugs"

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