My Fabulous Disease
7 Ways to Save Money on Meds
I was intrigued by the idea of buying generic meds from out of the country, but kept getting the icks. What if they make these meds in some ratty factory somewhere with no quality control? I mean, ick.
A little research put my mind at ease. The helpful folks at aids-drugs-online.com reminded me that people have been purchasing medications from Canada for decades because of the low cost. And India, which produces most of the generic HIV meds available, is the 2nd largest pharmaceutical industry in the world, with FDA-approved facilities.
And the prices. Wow. No wonder people who are without insurance (or in the doughnut hole) are purchasing their meds this way.
The laws are vague about the legality of this, but at any rate are not enforced. Generally speaking, it appears that people can purchase up to a 90-day supply of a medication from other countries as long as it is for personal use. If you're shopping around and want to be sure the manufacturer is legit, visit pharmacychecker.com to do your research.
Compounding pharmacies, like APSMeds.com, are able to create special versions of generic medications in whatever strength or format (pill, capsule, liquid) that your physician requests. And their product is a lot less expensive than you are paying for the medication in its regular form! Since they only deal with generics, this is a tip for medications like testosterone gels or Lipitor or Flomax.
Finally, there are patient assistance programs offered by the pharmaceuticals that you might qualify for. There are doughnut hole programs for people with insurance that cover your meds when you fall into that financial abyss, and other programs for people with no insurance at all. The best resource online to navigate your way through these programs is NeedyMeds.org.
Between the co-pay cards and the supplements provided by my specialty pharmacy, I'll be saving hundreds of dollars on my medications this year. I hope you'll find similar savings.
Now, if we could create universal health care in the great United States, we would not be scrambling to pay for medications, and people from other countries would stop snickering and shaking their heads at the necessity of this blog posting.
In the meantime, my friends, please be well.
Visit Mark's live blog at www.MyFabulousDisease.com.
Mark S. King has been an active AIDS activist, writer and community organization leader since the early 1980s in Los Angeles. He has been an outspoken advocate for prevention education and for issues important to those living with HIV.
Diagnosed in 1985, Mark has held positions with the Los Angeles Shanti Foundation, AID Atlanta and AIDS Survival Project, and is an award-winning writer. He continues his volunteer work as an AIDS educator and speaker for conferences and events.
Speaking engagements: Mark King is available to speak to groups. Contact Mark about speaking at your organization or event!
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Mark King Looks Back at the AIDS Epidemic's Darkest Hour in the U.S. (May 14, 2008)
This Month in HIV: Crystal Methamphetamine and HIV (August 2007)
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