It's time to think outside the pillbox. According to the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, on average, people between the ages of 65 of 69 take nearly 14 prescriptions a year. Not only do the costs of these prescriptions add up, but keeping track of your medications each day can take up valuable time and mental energy. Making just a few simple tweaks to your routine can help simplify things. Here's how to save on prescriptions, and save time while doing it.
Ask About Generic
Whenever your doctor prescribes you a new medication, ask if a generic substitute is available. According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), on average, generic prescriptions cost about 80 to 85 percent less than their name-brand counterparts. The FDA ensures that generics work just as well as name-brand drugs, so if your doctor gives you the go-ahead, there's really nothing to lose.
Running to the drugstore each time you need to fill a prescription wastes both time and money. Who has time to pick up 14 prescriptions at 14 different times each month? Streamline your refills with Rite Aid's OneTripRefillsSM plan, a free program that allows you to work with your pharmacist to coordinate all of your refills for pickup on the same day. Not only will you streamline your pickup process, you'll probably never forget to pick up a prescription again.
Automate Your Routine
Do you have trouble remembering to take your pills? Take each pill at the same time of day, in the same place—for example, before breakfast at the table, or before you brush your teeth at night in the bathroom. Research published in the European Journal of Social Psychology shows that, on average, it takes about two months before a new behavior becomes automatic. Repeating an action at the same place and time can help solidify the habit.
Take Advantage of Technology
There are numerous smartphone apps available to help you keep track of the pills you take—especially if you take different pills at different times of the day and week. Just program in the days and times for each medication, and the app will send you alerts accordingly. This way, you'll never find yourself wondering if you already took a medication, when you're supposed to take it, or whether you're supposed to take it with food or on an empty stomach. This saves you money by ensuring that you aren't taking extra medicine or letting any expire.
In today's world, remembering to take your medication and the rising costs of prescriptions can cost you valuable time, energy, and money. Instead, save on prescriptions and streamline your medications with these simple tips.
American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, ASCP Fact Sheet
US Food and Drug Administration, Facts about Generic Drugs
European Journal of Social Psychology, How are habits formed: Modeling habit formation in the real world
ASCP Fact Sheet, American Society of Consultant Pharmacists: https://www.ascp.com/articles/about-ascp/ascp-fact-sheet
Facts about Generic Drugs, US Food and Drug Administration: http://www.fda.gov/drugs/resourcesforyou/consumers/buyingusingmedicinesafely/understandinggenericdrugs/ucm167991.htm
How are habits formed: Modeling habit formation in the real world, European Journal of Social Psychology: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ejsp.674/abstract