Reducing costs but also need to know my most important drugs

This is the "cry for help" forum. Provide as much info as you feel comfortable (we do not need your name, address, ID numbers, etc.) and someone will answer within hours hopefully (maximum time 1 day). If you do not wish to disclose any information in a public post you can register using an anonymous email address and then send a private message to dlcnurse, NoPocketCash, or jimithy.

THE SPECIFIC IDEAS PRESENTED SHOULD NOT BE FOLLOWED BLINDLY. YOU SHOULD MAKE YOUR OWN CHOICES AS FAR AS TREATMENTS, PHARMACIES, MEDICATIONS, ETC. ANY SPECIFIC EXAMPLE GIVEN IS JUST THAT... AN EXAMPLE TO SHOW WE ARE GIVING "REAL WORLD" COSTS AND IDEAS.
FORUM RULES: It is important not to do anything immoral, unethical, illegal, or against your doctor's advice.

Not all methods posted here will work. These are simply ideas some people have found to be useful.

We require polite behavior on this forum. (otherwise your posts will be eliminated and you will be restricted).

The Disclaimer page carefully explains about how the information you find on this site can be safely used. Follow its guidelines & it can help prevent problems. Don't blindly follow advice found here. Consult your doctor or a qualified licensed medical provider before using ANY information, ideas, or methods of saving money on meds to help ensure they are safe for your own health issues. Any information on this website is used at your own risk. Click here to read our Disclaimer.

Reducing costs but also need to know my most important drugs

Postby Tons of Drugs » Mon Jan 29, 2007 1:21 pm

I am on a lot of medications. Here is the list I carry with me. I thought it might help if I included what my doctor says he prescribed them for. I am very uncomfortable taking so many pills but if I need them then I know I should take them (despite the fact I cannot afford them.)

Prevacid 30 mg once a day because of an acid Stomach Acid
Diovan 160 mg once a day because of high blood pressure
Lasix 20 mg once a day because of high blood pressure
Darvocet-N 100 100 mg / 650 mg 3 times a day because of back pain
Neurontin 300 mg 3 times a day because of pain
Aricept 10 mg once a day because of Memory
Detrol LA 4 mg once a day because of Benign Prostate Hyperplasia
Avandia8 mg once a day because of Type 2 Diabetes
Crestor 10 mg once a day for High Cholesterol
Omacor 1 g 3 times a day for High Cholesterol and Triglycerides
Multi-vitamin once a day
Vitamin D 800 IU once a day for Calcium absorption
Vitamin C 500 mg once a day for unknown reasons
Colace 100 mg once a day for Constipation
Metamucil 1 tspa day for Constipation
Aspirin 81 mg for Heart and Circulation

Ideas about reducing costs would be good but it could also help if I knew which drugs were probably most important for my health.

Thank you for any help you might provide.
Tons of Drugs
 

Could we have more information?

Postby AntiPharm » Tue Jan 30, 2007 11:59 am

It is such a huge list it would make it much much easier for us if you'd answer 2 easy questions.

Do you have any type of insurance that might cover medications (if so tell us about it... copays, limits, etc.)

What is your approximate household gross income (we don't want to pry but you might qualify for assistance) and number of members in your household.

Thanks!
AntiPharm
Volunteer
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Tue Oct 24, 2006 9:15 pm
Location: Wherever the fight brings me!

More info

Postby Tons of Drugs » Tue Jan 30, 2007 3:00 pm

I am sorry. I assumed that it was obvious that I do not have any insurance coverage. I am one of those workers eased out of employment because my longevity made me much more expensive than a new kid.

So I am in that gap. Too old to be seriously considered for a decent job, I am either too educated and experienced; or they don't want to get someone whose retirement is within sight.

I am hiding in a job that grosses about $27,000 a year with no benefits and I am currently single.

Oh yeah, I'm not pregnant!
Tons of Drugs
 

Neurontin, Darvocet, & Lasix

Postby GeeWhiz » Tue Jan 30, 2007 7:15 pm

Tons of Drugs,

I am cribbing most of this first paragraph because I agree strongly with the other posts that everyone needs to realize is that Healthy People Need Fewer Drugs. You do not have to become a health nut or do major changes in your lifestyle to get major positive effects on your health. A side benefit is that in general, people living a healthy lifestyle are happier than those who do not. The ideas on that link do not make your life more difficult. They make it easier.

Since you are not low enough income to apply for assistance and you have no insurance it would be a good idea to read these three topics because I think a number of your drugs' costs might be reduced by using variations of these 3 ideas.

Shopping for the best prices locally & using the internet

Many people cannot suddenly buy 90 day quantities of all of their drugs (usually necessary for mail order or internet purchases. I found that just converting over one or two drugs at a time to buying in quantity not only makes it easier, but it means I don't have to put out big quantities of cash every 3 months in order to buy all of my pills at the same time.

Splitting pills is easy and can often save nearly half.

Why Generics are just as good as Brand Name Drugs.

You take Lasix 20 mg once a day because of high blood pressure. A local price could be around $12.50 a month. If you bought a 90 supply of the generic Furosemide on the internet you could drop that to about $2.70 amount. Saving $10 might not sound like a lot but you have many drugs. Reducing each one could be crucial. (NOTE: My assumption is that you would be buying other drugs through the same internet pharmacy. Otherwise shipping costs will eat your savings.)

Then there is Darvocet-N 100 100 mg / 650 mg 3 times a day because of back pain. A local price could be around $42 a month. If you bought the generic Propoxyphene N-APAP - 100-650mg Tablets locally it would be about $9 a month saving you $33.
Propoxyphene N-APAP - 100-650mg Tablets

You are definitely dealing with pain. I don't know if anyone has told either you or your doctor but a $400 million dollar fine was paid because of the drug firm falsely promoting Neurontin, which had a very narrow use as a specialized epilepsy drug; into a blockbuster drug with multi-billion dollar profits by paying doctors to falsely sign their names to documents they never wrote. (Indicating the drug was effective in managing neuropathic pain without supporting evidence.) Most patients who had been taking that drug for neuropathic pain have stopped and do not report an increase in pain. I'm not saying to drop the drug, but I am saying that it is worth talking to your doctor about it.

Taking Neurontin 300 mg 3 times a day has a huge cost of about $162 a month and there is not a substantial savings by buying in quantity over the internet.

There is a huge savings if you do 3 things. Buy 90 day supplies of the generic Gabapentin over the internet and buy 600 mg capsules and split them. The result will be a cost of about $38 a month! This saves you a whopping $124 a month.

To summarize so far. You will still be taking all of the same three drugs I wrote about but your monthly costs for these drugs have dropped from about $216.50 to about $50 so your will be paying about 23% of what you probably are now.

It is very very important to discuss possible drug changes with your doctor before doing anything else.

I can't wait until people start checking out the other 13 drugs on your list! :-)
GeeWhiz
Volunteer
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:44 pm

Cutting the cost of medications

Postby dlcnurse » Wed Jan 31, 2007 12:36 am

You are on an extensive list of medications. There are a few options in regards to your medications.
Do discuss it with your doctor also to ensure that any changes you would like to make meets with his approval. Unfortunately there are some medications that do not have any other med it its classification that you would be able to switch too.
The first med on your list is Prevacid which is a PPI, (proton pump inhibitor). There are a few others in this classification such as Protonix, Prilosec, Aciphex. The only one that has a generic is Prilosec which could save you quite a bit of money. It is called Omeprazole, which is the generic would cost 24.00 for 30 day supply and 63.00 for a 90 day supply.
Diovan which is a Angiotension Receptor Blocker does have some other medications in its classification as well which is Avapro, Atacand, Cozaar, and the Diovan. One point of interest here is that the Diovan you are taking also comes in Diovan HCT which is a combination with the Valsartan and Hydrochlorthiazide which is a diuretc. You could ask your doctor about possibly switching to this instead of using the Diovan and Lasix seperately. Diovan runs about 64. 00 for a 30 day, and 176.00 for a 90 day supply. The Diovan HCT costs 80.00 to 219.00 for a 30 to 90 day supply. Your lasix does come in a generic form for the cost of 9.00 for a 30 day supply of the 20 mg. dosage. You may think about getting a script for the 40 mg and splitting them. The cost for generic 40 mg is 9.00 for 100 tablets. This would give you a 180 day supply at just the 9.00. Or you can think about using the Diovan HCT which is a combination of the ARB/Diuretic. It would be cheaper for you to stay with using seperate than to use the combination form.
Now, with comparisons of other ARB's, the cheapest of all the medications in this classification is Avapro which at doses of 75mg to 300 mg the price is 47.00 to 70.00 for a 30 day supply and 130 to 170 for a 90 day supply. Which is very dependent on the dose that your doc would prescribe.
The Darvocet does come in a generic form which will save you about 40.00 than name brand. The average cost for non generic is about 47.00 for a 30 day supply and 130.00 for a 90 day supply. Generic form would cost you 15.00 for a 30 day supply or 32.00 for a once a day dosing. You would have to triple this amount for taking more than once. But you can see that the generic form will save you quite a bit of money.
Neurontin cost is very expensive. You could save your self alot of money using the generic form of Gabapentin as the previous post indicated.
Aricept and Omacor do not come in any other brands nor do they have any other medications in their classifications that you could possibly save any money on.
You can however discuss with your doctor about possibly switching to a combination pill such as Vytorin or Caduet but neither of these will treat the triglycerides as well as the Omacor.
Now as far as the Detrol LA, there are other medications in this same classification that may work for you. Another name is Ditropan which actually does have a generic form called Oxybutynin which comes in doses of 5, 10, 15 mg. Another form is in a patch that you apply which is called Oxytrol. Your Detrol LA runs from 108.00 to 304.00 (30-90 day supply). The generic Ditropan of Oxybutynin is a cost of 8.00 to 22.00 for a 30 to 90 day supply.
Your crestor is costing you anywhere from 100.00 to 550.00 for 30-90 supply. You may want to ask your doctor about possibly switching to Simvastin (generic for Zocor) this cost is about 69.00 to 200.00. But there again it will be up to your doctor if this will work for you.
The Avandia unfortunately does not come in generic form. The diabetes medications are very specific in how they work. Discuss it with your doctor about possibly switching to a cheaper medication. There are many oral agents out there and this would have to be determined by your doctor since he knows more about your medical history. sorry I can't quote you anything on this one.
You also take vitamins. My suggestion would be to check out the generic brands and compare prices. They can run from cheap to expensive depending on the brand. The store brands are not any different in how they work versus the name brand such as Centrum, One A Day, etc... It will require looking around to find the cheapest brands.
The Colace and Metamucil you take, you can actually reduce your cost by using Senna S because it has both properties that will do the same thing as your Colace and Metamucil. The cost is cheaper to buy just one product that buying both. Senna S can be bought over the counter, as well as the Colace and Metamucil. If you prefer to use the two than you need to look at using a generic colace. the cost difference can be a savings from 23.00 down to 8.00 depending on the brand. If you are using prescriptions for filling your vitamins and the stool softeners, look around the different stores in your area and compare prices. These can be purchased alot cheaper over the counter.
Other options also to lower your cholestorol is to do it by diet, and exercise and possibly your doctor would be able to lower your dosage amounts and help you feel better the natural way. It is recommended to not have more than 300 mg of cholestrol in your diet a day. Just by reading the labels on the foods you buy will help you determine how much cholestrol is in the foods you eat. It can be a real eye opener once you start reading labels. It was for me! Watching your trans fat intake also helps to lower cholestrol.
You also asked about which medications are essential for you, that really depends on your medical history and only your doctor can actually answer that question for you. I have not research your medications in respect to getting them from outside the US. I will try to cover that unless someone else does it first. Good luck.
dlcnurse
Moderator
 
Posts: 312
Joined: Fri Nov 17, 2006 2:39 am
Location: Ohio

Extreme problems

Postby jimithy » Thu Feb 01, 2007 5:14 pm

Tons of Drugs,

dlcnurse did a great job showing you options but often people want the bottom line. Just how much money can I save if I use some of the ideas presented.

If you are buying retail right now and the approximate prices we quoted are accurate then you are paying about $15,000 a year for your medications on a $27,000 salary. That is not possible. For a great many people unfortunately it means that they simply do not fill their prescriptions after any drug samples run out. A lot of those people (with a variety of reasons) do not want their doctor to know. It is strange but doctors have indicated in a poll that they do not want to embarass their patients by talking about treatment costs.

You asked about what meds are most important. This gives me the idea that you cannot afford $1243 a month on medications when you only gross $2250 and maybe bring home $1575 of that. Paying all of those drugs would leave you with about $330 a month to live on. It does no good for a doctor to prescribe drugs that a patient cannot afford. All you get is a charge for a doctor visit.

A discussion about what drugs you need the least is something that must be made between you and your doctor. We can give you ideas for that discussion though.

I will go down the list of general suggestions made:

Prevacid 30 mg once a day because of an acid Stomach Acid is about $171 / month. Switching to Generic Omeprazole (Prilosec), 40mg and using a foreign pharmacy cuts that to about $75.

Diovan 160 mg once a day because of high blood pressure 30 tablets is about $72 / month. Switching to Avapro 300 mg and splitting them cuts the price to $20 from a foreign pharmacy.

Lasix 20mg is about $12.50 / month. Using a foreign pharmacy cuts that to about $2.30 / month.

Darvocet-N 100 mg / 650 mg x 3 a day is about $42 / month. Using the generic (Propoxyphene N-APAP - 100-650mg Tablets) cuts that to about $9 locally

Instead of Neurontin locally for $162 / month, buy 90 day supplies of the generic Gabapentin over the internet and buy 600 mg capsules and split them. The result will be a cost of about $38 a month! This saves you a whopping $124 a month. Talking with your doctor about whether it makes ANY sense to take it at all could save you another $38 /month.

Aricept 10 mg once a day because of Memory is about $180 / month. There is absolutely no savings by using an internet pharmacy but it can be bought for $150 / month at a foreign pharmacy. This is another drug that is worth talking to your doctor about. For some people it seems to work well. For a similar number of people a sugar pill is just as effective. One of the problems is that there are a great many things which can affect cognitive functioning. Depression, Lupus, and drug side effects are just a few.

Studies have shown only about 10% to 20% of patients get a good effect from this drug. Drug companies love to throw out hope. A HOPE that to me is sometimes cruel. There have been discussions that this drug may reduce the rate of cognitive impairment as a person ages. I have heard of no double blind study ever attempted that has shown this as anything other than superstition. Getting off this drug could save you $150 / month.

Detrol LA 4 mg once a day because of Benign Prostate Hyperplasia $129 or $108 by using an internet pharmacy or $67 from a foreign pharmacy.
The Generic of it (Oxybutynin taken 3 times a day) is available locally for about $51 or $20 by using an internet pharmacy or $16 using a foreign pharmacy.

Avandia 8 mg once a day because of Type 2 Diabetes $215. You can get it for about $185 by using an internet pharmacy or a foreign pharmacy could be about $92.

Crestor 10 mg once a day for High Cholesterol is about $100 locally. Actually my insurance has required me to switch to Simvastin (generic for Zocor) It will no longer pay for Crestor. Simvistatin can be found for about $69 by using an internet pharmacy or as low as $50 from a foreign one.

Omacor 1 g 3 times a day for High Cholesterol and Triglycerides $121 / month. It can be reduced to $116 by using an internet pharmacy or to $101 from a foreign pharmacy.

Multi-vitamin once a day Centrum Silver $5.50 (just an example). If you look locally in "Big Box" department stores for vitamins with the same ingredients (almost all vitamins in the world are made by Bayer) and buy in higher quantities and it can be about $2 a month.

Vitamin D 800 IU once a day for Calcium absorption - Often Vitamin D comes with added calcium so you need to check with your doctor. Too much calcium can be bad. Locally look in a "big Box" department store and write down a list possible vitamins with their ingredients and convert their prices to what 30 days would cost you. Then show the list to your doctor.

Vitamin C 500 mg once a day for unknown reasons. People take vitamin C because there are a great many studies funded by the citrus industry that indicates it has near miraculous powers of healing. A comprehensive study looking deeply into these industry sponsored studies came out about 3 weeks ago and found no claims that could be objectively substantiated.

Take C if you want, but it is not going to cure or reduce lengths of colds or guard you against cancers. Once again I would go locally and look in a "big Box" department store for vitamins with the same ingredients and buy in higher quantities.

I am getting a bit tired at this point with going through all possible options. I would do as suggested by dlcnurse and just use the generics for Colace and Metamucil
Colace would then drop from $23 to $8 or less shopping locally.
Metamucil would then drop from $10 to $5 or less shopping locally.

Aspirin 81 mg for Heart and Circulation - A fun way to make it much cheaper is to go out and buy chewable children's aspirin (it is the same 81 mg dose). I love orange and save it until last. Chewing the fresh orange flavor takes the taste of the other pills out of your mouth. Shop locally and you'll save about half.

What I cannot emphasize enough is that IF that you start doing VERY minor continual steps at improving your lifestyle and combine those efforts with reducing drug dosages with your doctor
jimithy
Site Admin
 
Posts: 378
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 11:36 am
Location: The beautiful mountains of S. West Virginia!

Something to ask

Postby GeeWhiz » Thu Feb 01, 2007 8:20 pm

Tons of Drugs,

I know the difficulty of trying to decide just which medications I need most, because until recently I could not afford them all.

I noticed another thing that might be worth discussing with your doctor.

Omacor is the only fish oil approved by the FDA but Over the Counter fish oil supplements advertise equivalent amounts of EPH-DHA Ethyl Esters (the active ingredients). The difficulty is that there is no careful monitoring that the supplements actually contain what they say.

If you doctor is agreeable though, you could save another $80 to $90 a month.
GeeWhiz
Volunteer
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2007 5:44 pm


Return to THE EASY WAY: Give us your list of drugs then we will give your specific ways to save

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron