Tell us what medicines you take to be matched with patient assistance programs for which you may be eligible.
Prescription drugs are a major component of the overall cost of caring for the elderly. By some reports, persons sixty-five and older spend an average of over three percent of their income on prescription drugs. That percentage is even higher when over-the-counter medications are included. While Medicare Part D pays for some medications for those enrolled in a plan, it is reported that over sixty-five percent of seniors’ prescription costs are out-of-pocket.
There are three ways by which seniors can better afford the cost of prescription drugs. First is make sure one understands their insurance’s prescription benefits, be that Medicare, Medicaid or Medicare supplementary insurance. The second is to find financial assistance that helps pay for medication or for insurance premiums, co-pays and deductibles. Finally, the third and frequently overlook option, is to lower their costs through a variety of methods described further down this page.
When a pharmaceutical company releases a new drug, the US Food and Drug Administration allows that company to have a patent on the drug for several years. As the patent expires other pharmaceutical companies are allowed to copy the drug and sell generic versions of it. Generic versions are less expensive than brand name drugs for two reasons. 1) The manufacturers of the generic versions do not shoulder the research and development costs and can therefore sell the drugs at a lower price 2) The increased competition further drives the cost down.
There is an ongoing and sometimes heated debate whether generic drugs are of lower quality. The final decision whether to use a brand name or generic drug should be up to the individual and their doctor. However, two things are certain. Generic drugs are pharmacological the same as their brand name equivalents and generic drugs are considerably less expensive for the consumer.
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