Saving Money on Prescription Drugs
As you get older, medications are likely to become a regular part of your life. If not used properly and treated with great respect, they can cause harm. Here are some medication safety tips:
Make sure your doctor and pharmacist know about you and your history
- If you have any drug allergies, make sure your doctor and pharmacist know about them.
- Make a list of all your medications (including nonprescription drugs) and show it to your doctor and pharmacist whenever you visit them. Carry your medication list with you wherever you go.
- If you are receiving care from more than one doctor, if you use more than one pharmacy, be sure to share your medication list.
- Include a brief list of your main medical problems on your medication list.
Medication safety begins with you, so make sure you are informed. Here are some useful questions to ask about each new prescription:
- What is the name of this drug? Is this the generic name or the brand name?
- What is it supposed to do?
- How and when do I take it -- and for how long?
- What foods, drinks, or other medications should I avoid while taking this drug?
- What are the most common side effects?
- Might this medication interact with any of the other drugs I am taking?
- Will any of my other medical problems affect the way I respond to this drug?
- Are there any special storage instructions?
You can also do some homework. The National Library of Medicine provides a reliable source for drug information on the internet. The AARP Magazine has put its How to Be Drug Smart article online.
There are many unscrupulous people who would like to sell you counterfeit drugs over the internet. So you should be wary of internet purchases. Here are some tips:
- Don't buy from a site that offers to sell a prescription drug without a prescription.
- Avoid sites that do not ask for a medical history.
- Don't do business with sites that have no access to a registered pharmacist to answer questions.
- Be sure the site clearly identifies itself and provides an address and phone number to contact if there's a problem.
- If you are buying from an internet pharmacy that is based in the United States, check to see if it participates in the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) program. VIPPS was created by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy to establish standards for US (not Canadian) internet pharmacies.
The Canadian pharmacies you will find on this website were certified as being safe by the states of Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin.