The autumn and winter season favors infections. During this period, we necessarily spend more money on medicines, which sometimes puts a heavy burden on the household budget. However, you can save on medicines. See how to do it.
Some social groups may receive medicines for free. This applies to pregnant women, seniors over 65, and children. The list of free medicines, which is valid from September 1, 2023, includes, among others, painkillers, antibacterial and antifungal agents, as well as drugs used to treat diseases of the digestive and respiratory systems. The list also includes pharmaceuticals used to treat hypertension and allergies. What can people outside the above-mentioned groups do? There are several ways to lower the price of medicines. Make sure you know them all.
Purchasing medicines – see what to do to save?
One of the ways to reduce the cost of medicines is to use reimbursement. Then you can get many pharmaceuticals at the pharmacy, even at half the price. The subsidy is available to people who are entitled to health care services financed from public funds. What does this mean in practice? The need to have general health insurance or the right to benefits granted under additional entitlements. They are provided, among others, by voluntary insurance.
What medicines are reimbursed? Their list changes. Similarly to the amount of costs incurred by the patient when purchasing a given medicine. It is worth asking your doctor whether a given drug is covered by funding from the National Health Fund. Importantly, he must write a prescription with reimbursement. Such an order must contain several additional indications, including the payment level, the symbol of the country in which the patient is insured and the prescription identification number assigned by the National Health Fund. An order for a reimbursed medicine can only be fulfilled in pharmacies that have signed an agreement with the National Health Fund.
How else can you save on medicines? Invest in cheaper substitutes, i.e. so-called generic drugs. What characterizes them? They have the same composition (quantitative and qualitative) as their original counterparts. They work in the same way and come in the same form. They differ in their trade name. When the twenty-year patent protection period for the original drug ends, companies on the pharmaceutical market can start their own production of the drug. This is how “generics” reach pharmacies. The pharmacist is obliged to inform the customer about the existence of a substitute for a given medicine.
Before you fill a given prescription, check your home medicine cabinet. “When a patient comes to me with an infection, before I prescribe medications, I try to ask what the patient has already used and what medications they have at home. I may surprise you, but there are only a few expectorant substances on the market (…) but there are plenty of syrups with this effect – why? Because each company produces its syrup and calls it differently, but the substance is often the same. It’s the same with nasal sprays. Therefore, when a patient tells me what medications he has at home, I know what we can use. And instead of buying 5 new, often the same drugs, the patient buys 1-2 or none at all, because he has them all,” explains Dr. Miriam Staier, known on social media as the doctor _in_ the city, in one of her posts on Instagram. The specialist adds that adults can also use some children’s medications in their pharmacotherapy, only in higher doses.