Can you afford your medications?

One of the reasons that patients do not fill their prescriptions are due to increasing medication costs. 

I have begun asking my patients “Is the cost of any of your medications a burden for you?”  This fast screening question at the time of your visit helps greatly.  Physicians or medical assistants should review the medicines you currently take.

What can you do?

  1. Have your physician review your medications
  2. Do you still need to take the medication?
  3. Can you change to a less expensive medication or a generic version?
  4. Consider using a 90-day prescription to reduce copayments.  As an aside, this may also increase ease of use in that having medications at the house is easier than going to the pharmacy every month.
  5. Look up the medicine online to find the name of the manufacturer.  Then, see if there is a discount program with the pharmaceutical manufacturer for that medicine.  At times these discount programs are easy to complete and some require your tax return from the year before.
  6. Look online to see if your medication is available at a large chain pharmacy on their “$4/month list.” 
  7. Use websites and apps such as or that provide comparative costs between pharmacies and coupons for prescription medications
  8. Consider cutting a stronger medication in ½ (to get the desired strength).
  9. Does your physician’s office have a social worker to help navigate these issues?

At our family medicine residency office, we have a social worker who helps patients who need more intensive support (such as navigating insurance plans, determining eligibility for additional insurance coverage, and applying for pharmaceutical medication assistance programs).  

I hope this helps.

About drlesliegreenberg

I have been practicing as a family physician for over 20 years--as both an educator of physicians and clinician. From infancy to the elderly, I perform obstetrics and general medicine. I love my career and am passionate about my field of knowledge and my patients. Follow me on Facebook at Leslie Md Greenberg Medical Disclaimer The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.
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