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According to a 2013 Mayo Clinic study, 70% of Americans are on one prescription drug, and more than half take two. Those expenses add up quickly. So check out these tips to help ensure you’re getting the most out of your prescriptions.

1.) Understand your alternatives

Don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor about alternatives and options that might be less expensive. It may be a hard conversation to have with your doctor, but they may not always be aware of the costs. It’s better to have a conversation to explore options than stop taking the drug.

2.) Use generic drugs

Many brand-name drugs have a generic version, which means that both drugs consist of the same active ingredient, strength and dosage. They are also approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as equivalent. This means generics provide the same health benefits as their brand-name counterparts, usually at a lower out-of -pocket cost to you. Talk to your doctor to see if a generic is right for you before making any substitutions. To find out if the brand-name medication you’re taking has a lower-priced generic version, visit our find a drug tool to search for generic drugs and other prescription options by name.

3.) Order a 90-day supply

Ask your doctor if it’s appropriate to order a 90-day supply (at a retail pharmacy in the extended supply network or by mail). If you use PrimeMail, your prescription can be delivered to you with free, standard shipping. Contact Prime Therapeutics at 1-888-274-5180 to speak with a customer service representative who can answer your questions about mail-order prescriptions.

4.) Take your medications as prescribed

Medications that your doctor has prescribed for you need to be taken as directed. For example, if your doctor says you need to take a medication every day, then you shouldn’t skip a day. Altering your dosage may cause medical complications that could lead to additional medical expenses for you. If you sometimes have trouble taking your medications as directed, speak to your doctor who can offer additional tips or advice.

5.) Avoid duplicate drugs or unsafe interactions

If you take several different medications, including non-prescription medicines and dietary supplements, use a medication checklist. Keeping a comprehensive list may be especially useful if you take different medications prescribed by different doctors. Have your doctor review your list at each visit to prevent treatment duplication and unsafe drug interactions.

Questions?

If you have specific questions about your plan, we always recommend reaching out to customer service. They’re happy to walk you through. They can be reached via the number on the back of your card, or via the numbers on our contact page.

About James LaCorte

James LaCorte is a Social Media Manager and has been employed with BCBSNC since 2003. He has built his career working in a variety of areas across the company. When not working you can find him kayaking a local river, photographing a nature scene, or running around with his family.