Top Seven Tips on How Families Can Save Money on Prescription Drugs from Free Medicine Foundation

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Free Medicine Foundation can help families completely eliminate or substantially reduce costs on prescription drugs.

The average senior household spends $955 a year on prescriptions. Those painfully high prices can make managing any family's health a bitter pill to swallow. Free Medicine Foundation has helped countless families across the nation completely eliminate or substantially reduce their prescription drug bills.

1› Free Medicine Foundation Saves Dollars and Lives
Free prescriptions drugs are available for all ages nationwide to households with incomes as high as $80,000. Most all brand-name prescription drugs are are available for free or through a low-cost assistance program. Visit http://www.FreeMedicine.com or call 1-573-996-3333 to learn more, apply or request a free brochure.

2› Double The Dose Then Take Half
Ask the doctor to prescribe a double dose (for example, 100 mg tablets instead of 50 mg ones), then cut the pills in half. Different doses of the same drug usually cost the same. So by splitting the pills, consumers can save up to 50 percent. Most tablets that have scores in them can be easily cut, but not all medication is safe to slice. Check with a doctor or pharmacist first.

3› Go to Shopping Clubs Without Joining
Consumers can find generic brands for up to 50 percent less at a member warehouses such as Costco and Sam's Club. That's because discount volume stores charge just over wholesale costs for the medications. No membership? No problem! Prescription drugs are considered federally regulated substances, which means pharmacies are required by law to be accessible to everyone. Simply tell the guard at the door that you're there to fill a prescription, and you will be granted instant access.

4› Take Advantage of Membership Perks
Free Drug Discount Card saves up to 90% on prescription drugs (including pets). Even if your current insurance plan covers prescriptions, not all drugs are covered, or the savings are not very much. When consumers print a free discount card, they will get substantial savings no matter what the insurance situation. The Free Drug Discount Card may be used at over 58,000 participating pharmacies nationwide, including most major chains. Visit http://www.FreeDrugDiscountCard.com to print a free discount card..

5› Prescription Drug Assistance Program
The Generic Medicine Program was developed to maximize the dollars spent on prescription drugs. A consumer's cost depends under which program the medicine is covered and the number of pills bought. 30 tablets/Capsules can cost as little as $3.75. Visit http://www.GenericMedicineProgram.com for more details.

6› Seniors in Medicare D Wise to Re-consider Prescription Options
In 13 states next year, there will be no drug plans that offer coverage in the so-called "doughnut hole" -- the big drug coverage gap in the Medicare Part D prescription drug program for the top medicines prescribed to seniors, according to a recent report issued by the health consumer watchdog organization Families USA. In 2006, there were only four such states, but the number of seniors without access to such doughnut hole coverage will increase from 375,000 to 6.6 million in 2007. In the 37 states and the District of Columbia in which plans will continue to offer such doughnut hole coverage, premiums for the lowest-priced Part D plans will increase by 87.4 percent, jumping from a median monthly price of $55.08 in 2006 to $103.20 in 2007 (an increase in annual premiums from $660.96 to $1,238.40). According to the report, the four states (Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, and New Hampshire) that did not have plans with meaningful doughnut hole coverage in 2006 will be joined by nine additional states (Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin) in 2007.

In 2006, the doughnut hole coverage gap begins once a senior has $2,250 in drug costs. When a senior reaches that threshold, the senior has no coverage until his or her drug costs reach $5,100--a gap of $2,850. In 2007, the gap will increase to $3,051, and it is projected to grow to $5,066 in 2013. While in this coverage gap, seniors continue to pay Part D premiums.

With the enrollment period for 2007 Medicare D prescription program underway, American seniors are being urged to re-assess their drug plans because of new changes that could dramatically increase enrollment costs. Many providers have revised the drugs that are covered under plan formularies and most have increased the monthly premiums, some by as much as three-fold.

7› How To Save Money and Safely Split a Time-Release Capsule
Tablet splitting can be particularly difficult in cases of medications in capsule form, tablets with an unusual shape or tablets that are not scored, and tablets that have a special coating or work on a time-release activity. Splitting a time release capsule breaks the coating which negates the delayed release action of the tablet, causing a patient's body to get too much medication at one time. Fortunately, there is a way to safely use a higher strength medication to reduce cost and maintain proper dosage. In instances where a commercially prepared liquid is not available, FLAVORx pharmacies can take a higher strength tablet, use half the quantity and convert it into a suspension that can be measured out with a syringe to give the exact dosage. Accuracy is ensured because the entire pill is added to the suspension and diluted to achieve the proper dosage level. This is particularly convenient for elderly patients. FLAVORx comes in 42 flavors and formulas can also be easily adjusted to meet each patient's taste preferences. Visit http://www.flavorx.com for more information. Always consult with a doctor, pharmacist or healthcare professional to make sure this method is safe and compatible with the medication being taken.

Free Medicine Foundation is a national patient advocacy organization for health care consumers. It is nonpartisan and advocates for high-quality, affordable health care for all Americans. Visit http://www.FreeMedicine.com or call 1-573-996-3333 to learn more.

Contact:
Cindy Randolph
General Manager
1.573.996.3333
http://www.FreeMedicineFoundation.com

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