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Drugs: How To Save Money When Buying Or Using

Older Alternatives For A Drug Or Over-The Counter Versions

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Older drugs

In many situations, an older, less expensive, drug will do the same thing as a newer drug - but without the bells and whistles. Rather than pay extra for the newer drug, ask if an older drug will do the same thing.

Generally, older drugs are less expensive than new branded drugs. They also have the advantage of being time tested so there is a better understanding of the longer term effects of the drug.

At least one study found that doctors tend to prescribe newer drugs even if they are no more effective than older drugs. At least one doctor reported that he thought it would be unethical not to.

To find out if there are other drugs that would work for you, ask your doctor, ask your phamacist, or check a resource such as offsite link. Another resource is Consumer Reports' website that compares medications and lists the most cost-effective and safest ones for your condition. See: offsite link

NOTE: Do not make a substition without checking with your doctor first.

Over-the-counter drugs

Over-the-counter drugs are generally less expensive than prescription drugs - but not always. First check to see if an over-the-counter version could work for you. If so, check the price compared to the prescription version.

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