Everyone enjoys saving money, but what if saving money was putting your health at risk? Recently, more and more prescriptions are being filled, but not being picked up at the pharmacy. European governments have insisted that major pharmacies introduce cuts in drug prices to reduce the amount of abandoned prescriptions. Countries like Greece and Spain have imposed drug cuts up to 25%.
There has been a 55% rise in the abandonment of prescriptions compared to four years ago. A pharmacy in the US claims that there are about a hundred prescriptions a week that are filled but not picked up by patients. This is in direct contrast to last year where only about seven per week were being abandoned. In 2008, there were 5 million patients that had 10.3 million prescriptions filled, but only 3.3% of those were picked up.
This rise in abandonment is linked to an increase in the price of brand name drugs. In the past five years, brand name medications have risen by 41.5% in price. More and more doctors are now prescribing generics to ensure that patients are using the drugs. Generic drugs account for about 75% of prescribed medications. Many people do not realize that generic drugs are the same as their brand counterparts despite being cheaper. The generic has the same strength and side effects as the brand-name drug; they are completely alike besides shape or color.
The main reason that drugs are being abandoned is because people cannot afford them. Drugs with higher prices are 3-5 times more likely to be unclaimed, especially with people who have to pay co-insurance. Many patients do not find out how much their prescription will be until they drop it off at the pharmacy. Before getting a prescription, ask your doctor how much the drug costs. If you find it too expensive ask your doctor to switch you to something cheaper or to a generic alternative. You can also buy drugs online for cheap at Canadian Online Pharmacies like OnlinePharmaciesCanada.com. This works especially well if you cannot drive, are disabled, or homebound. Before ordering online, it is best to ensure that you are buying from a safe online pharmacy. In the end, it is important to not jeopardize your health by avoiding picking up prescriptions; there are many cost saving alternatives available to you.