Rx – Online Prescriptions
Don’t forget to:
1. Ask your doctor about generic alternatives to prescriptions. Using generic drugs whenever possible can save you thousands of dollars per year.
2. Investigate state and charitable assistance programs. Start by clicking here and scrolling down to 5 Ways to Lower Your Costs in the Coverage Gap.
3. Ask your doctor whether a particular medication is necessary, or whether a reduced amount would work just as well. You don’t want to take medications you don’t really need.
4. Keep a critical eye when you see a medication advertised on TV. Some drug companies may be creating a market for certain drugs where there isn’t a need. And if a particular drug you see on TV is something you’d benefit from, there’s a good chance your doctor knows a cheaper alternative.
5. Look for a less expensive pharmacy. Don’t overlook the savings that can result from using a mail-order or Internet pharmacy.
That brings us back to the need to exercise extreme caution when shopping for prescription drugs online. While you can look your pharmacist in the eye and ask questions at your local retail pharmacy, it’s impossible to do so when you’re sitting in front of a computer.
Some online pharmacies are notorious for dispensing drugs to individuals without valid prescriptions. CNN reports about federal agents cracking down on such online pharmacies, and quotes John Horton, a former official in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, as saying, concerning one “ring” of more than 200 websites, that “there were even deaths involved with this organization.”
There couldn’t be a better reason for exercising caution than that. The Huffington Post, meanwhile, reports on the Mayo Clinic’s warning signs to anyone considering making a drug purchase online. Individuals are advised, among other things, to be wary of doing business with websites providing foreign contact information or giving no phone number or street address at all. That seems sound advice. Yet, NPR quotes a report from the National Bureau of Economic Research, which states that “a blanket warning against any foreign website may deny consumers substantial price savings.”
The prudent approach seems to be that you should learn as much as you can about the website or online pharmacy that is hoping to do business with you. Check it out in any way you can—via an online search or message board or, better yet, by seeing whether your doctor knows anything about it.
If, after careful investigation, you decide to use an online pharmacy for your prescription drug needs, be sure to:
- Compare prices—but beware of prices that look too good to be true
- Use only licensed pharmacies—you definitely want to play it safe
- Confirm that any website you’re considering requires prescriptions
- Check for a US address and phone number, because drugs ordered from places outside the country (even Canada) may not be FDA-approved or legal in the United States
Again, consider online pharmacies as you might consider any other cost-saving prescription drug options such as prescription drug cards offered by needymeds.org and other organizations, or the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, which for seven years now has been helping patients who’ve been denied Rx coverage or simply can’t afford it get the medications they need at little or no cost.
It’s a tough economy, and chances are you’ve got to stretch your dollar every way you can. If you don’t have prescription drug coverage, finding a good Part D plan is as sure to pay off in the long run as your Medicare supplement plan is likely to do. Drug costs can be scary for anyone, but having a good prescription drug plan and shopping for the best deals on the market can go a long way toward keeping your costs within your budget.
But as important as that is, it’s not nearly as important as your health.
Never leave your doctor out of the discussion when you’re looking for prescription drugs. And never fail to exercise every caution when you’re shopping for drugs. Your health isn’t the only thing at stake. Make a wrong turn on the Internet and you could put your identity and finances at stake as well.
Next to your doctor, MedicareMall strives to be the best ally you’ll ever have when it comes to matters concerning your health. At MedicareMall we take every client’s unique situation into account in order to find the best, most cost-efficient Medicare supplement, Medicare Advantage, and prescription drug plans for everyone. Contact MedicareMall now and one of our licensed, bonded representatives will be happy to do just that for you!