Many Americans are facing difficult decisions such as whether to skip taking their medicines or to skip paying their rent.
Here are a few reasons why taking your meds as prescribed saves you money overall. Taking your medications correctly helps you to:
- Avoid getting sicker and needing even more costly treatment
- Feel better and to miss less work
- Have more energy to find a new job if you are unemployed or unhappy with your current job
- Avoid side effects from over treatment (as when doc doesn’t know that you are not taking meds and then recommends a higher dose). Side effects add to your healthcare costs because you have to see a doctor for further evaluation of these side effects.
- Avoid spending money on other treatments that don’t work and are not recommended by your doctor
What can you do when faced with the difficult decision of paying rent (and other bills) or paying for your medications?
- Ask questions. There is help out there for you. Tell your healthcare providers what you need and ask questions about how you can get more information about programs that may help you better afford your medication.
- Talk to your pharmacist. Pharmacists can help you try to find the cheapest medication that fits your needs.
- Talk to your doctor. Don’t forget to ask your doctor to write the prescription in a way that makes it cheaper (1 month supply or a 3 month supply, depends on the medication which one is cheaper). Also ask your doctor for a different medication that does the same thing and may be a lot cheaper.
- Bring a close friend or caregiver with you to your appointments. Having a friend or caregiver with you can help the medical team know what you need or the problems you are having with your medications when you are not feeling well enough to explain.
While the healthcare industry may seem complicated, don’t give up on finding the right solution to help you feel better. It is possible!
Jennifer Shine Dyer, MD, MPH, is a pediatric endocrinologist, social media enthusiast (@EndoGoddess), app developer, and mobile health entrepreneur in Ohio looking to make health outcomes better for people living with diabetes or other chronic diseases.