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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013

Save 80% on your prescription medications

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By Clark Howard

ClarkHoward.com


There’s an easy way to save 80% on average on your prescriptions.

My doctor finally convinced me to start a daily cholesterol medicine. My cholesterol numbers were in the normal range, but a high normal. So finally he convinced me to start taking a generic pill. I now get a 90-day supply for less than $30.

In the midst of that, I saw a New York Times story headlined Why the Bad Rap on Generic Drugs. It discussed how half of all doctors have negative opinions of generics. More than 25% surveyed said they would not use generics for themselves or their families.

What’s that all about? Well, some of it has to do with the word "generic" having negative connotations in the medical world. But it’s not just doctors. As you move down the income scale, people of lower income are more and more likely to not want generics because they assume it means lower quality.

It’s funny because people know generics are 80% cheaper on average than brand name scripts. In fact, most people surveyed said others should take generics, but only a third say they themselves should do it! We say one thing and then do another.

Are there cases where generic meds won’t be as good as the brand name? It is very remotely possible, though extremely unlikely. But consider this: The savings are certain and the negative quality issues are only a remote possibility. So you’re more likely to be hurt in a car accident driving over to the pharmacy than you are from taking a generic prescription!

It’s your money. You decide what’s right for you. Just remember, as I told you several weeks ago, where you fill your generic prescriptions matters big time. The cost difference from pharmacy to pharmacy could be gigantic. Shopping around saves big money.

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