It’s unfortunate that costly prescription drugs have become the new normal.
How else to explain an AARP sponsored survey that finds most seniors don’t question physicians about pricey prescriptions. At the same time more than a quarter of seniors polled consider the cost of their prescription drugs a financial burden.
The University of Michigan conducted the survey and Professor Preeti Malani, M.D. says the results send a clear message to elderly patients. “Don’t be afraid to ask… among those who had a conversation with their doctor about costs, 67 percent got a recommendation for a less expensive drug.”
The executive vice president of Florida’s Pharmacy Association agrees with that assessment. Michael Jackson says its important patients talk to physicians because pharmacists have limited information. “Sometimes patients have already been on a less expensive drug and it didn’t work or there are side effects, sometimes the drug that is best for them is more expensive.” Jackson says pharmacists cannot change a drug prescribed but can check to see if a generic alternative is available and if so, make a senior aware. He also stresses it’s important for seniors to have a relationship with a community pharmacist, “Pharmacies may have discount programs and other options to deal with the cost of meds.”
The national poll involved 2,131 participants between the ages of 50 and 80 and a majority of those surveyed are taking two or more prescription drugs.
Interview with Michael Jackson, Executive VP Florida Pharmacists Association.
Judie Rappaport, President & Founder
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