If you are one of the estimated 928.6 million who pay a visit to their doctor every year, you’re making great strides to keep your health in check. Whether you visit your doctor for preventative care or to have an ailment checked out, there’s a good chance that you may be prescribed prescriptions. According to the latest data released by the Centers Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year, 2.3 billion prescription drugs are ordered or provided during a visit to the doctor’s office.
One of the many wonderful things about modern medicine is that there are remedies for virtually every type of ailment from allergies to heart conditions. Many of us visit the doctor, hoping to be prescribed relief, rarely asking questions, and putting all of our trust in our doctor’s decision. How do you make sure that these recommendations are best for your health and for your wallet?
Unfortunately, according to Salvi, Schostok, & Pritchard, P.C., even the most trusted medical professionals make mistakes when prescribing medications. Being prescribed the wrong medication or dosage can put our health and our lives at risk, but what about prescription drugs that cost an arm and a leg? Without a prescription discount card, patients could end up going without medications they need despite their doctor’s recommendations.
Here are some ways to talk to your doctor about your prescriptions and how to cheap prescriptions.
Always Ask Questions
Before leaving your appointment and filling your prescription, always ask any questions and give your doctor the opportunity to address any concerns you may have. Your doctor is responsible for explaining the drug that he or she is prescribing, so don’t leave your appointment with questions left unanswered. Some important questions to ask include: What is this drug, why am I taking it, and what is it treating? What are the side effects? Does it interfere with other medications? Does insurance cover this medication, or will I have to pay for it out-of-pocket?
If you choose to go ahead and have your prescription filled, don’t be afraid to look over the instructions before leaving the pharmacy and make sure that everything is easy to understand and that any additional questions are thoroughly answered.
Do Some Research
Rather than having your prescription filled immediately upon leaving the doctor’s office, it’s a good idea to conduct your own research first so you can learn how much a prescription drug costs, where you can find lower drug prices and how it will affect you. Although doctors have good intentions, when prescribing a medication, you don’t have to blindly follow your doctor’s advice. While the internet is filled with many seemingly legitimate sources, don’t forget to read all information with careful consideration and try to get all your drug information from trusted sites. Choose a site that is updated frequently, states that information may change, and explains the information in a clear and professional way. Although peer reviews of a drug may be helpful, read them with trepidation.
When conducting your own research, more questions may arise that you hadn’t thought of before. Jot them down and call your doctor’s office. For instance, you may discover, when doing your research, that there may be generic versions of the drug and even alternative methods that have worked just as well as the medication that you were just prescribed. Remember, as a patient, you have the right to a second opinion or to seek out other methods for treating your medical condition. Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you are a well-informed patient so that you can make the best decision for your own health.
Guest Post: Donna Fitzgerald