10 Reasons You Need to Talk to Your Doctor About the Cost of Your Medications—Today!

Dr. Sharon Orrange
Dr. Orrange is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Division of Geriatric, Hospitalist and General Internal Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
Posted on

1) 1 in 4 patients skip meds to save money. If you are doing this, your doctor needs to know.

2) Communicating about the economics of medications is part of your doctor’s job.

3) Your doctor should realize that higher cost means less compliance (you won’t take your pills everyday). We both lose.

4) Both doctors and patients are on the same team: yours. Patients need to get the best health care within the constraints of the current system.

5) Writing the prescription isn’t always enough. Patients have to fill the prescription and take the medication as well.

6) Your out-of-pocket prescription drug costs can play a big role in how well you follow doctors’ orders.

7) Your doctor has an obligation to consider costs when prescribing meds.

8) It’s possible the biggest “side effect” of your medication is cost, and you need to know this before you get to the pharmacy.

9) You and your doctor can explore alternatives such as: generic medications, splitting higher-dose pills, reviewing med lists to cut out nonessential or less important drugs, patient assistance programs, and getting samples.

10) Initiating the conversation as a patient will help avoid potential awkwardness. Seriously? Yes, doctors say the reason they don’t bring cost of meds up with their patients more often is they want to avoid making their patient feel awkward.

Dr O.

Filed under