Don't Make My Mistake

Don't expect this post to be this long and full of deep insights that no one else on the face of this earth has ever shared before. I have some posts that I feel are really ground breaking, with really cool calculations and factoids that I figured out and am super excited to share. And then I have posts with lots of details ideas that most people don't know.

And then there's today's post. Today's post was about a flub up I made. And maybe it's something that most people know. Maybe people don't. But its a flop that I made and while I share my successes, I figure its also worth sharing the mistakes I make so people can be careful not to repeat them.

I take medicine daily. Its very necessary for my psyche, and I am grateful for my meds every day. I am also really grateful that I live in a place where most of my medical costs are covered by my very cheap insurance, something that I know many people around the world do not have. 

I don't have a pharmacy where I live, so I need to take a bus to a nearby town to pick up my meds. For this reason, I try to time it correctly and go when I have a few more days worth of meds, and then try to get 3 months worth of meds at a time (the most you can get at once for non controlled substances).

Recently I switched meds from Cipralex, a very cheap drug, to Cymbalta, a more expensive medicine. When I switched, my psychiatrist told me that there is a generic version of Cymbalta, that is cheaper, and because he knows I like to keep down my costs, recommended that. However, my prescription says Cymbalta on it.

When I went to the pharmacy to pick up my meds, I picked up 3 months in one go, and I must admit, I was a little surprised at how much it cost. At first I said that the pharmacy that I went to, one not run through my health insurance, must be more expensive, even though they told me they had the same prices as the health insurance run ones.

After I walked out the door, I finally realized what had happened. Instead of buying the generic medication, which is just as effective, I bought the name brand. And since I bought for three months in one go, I paid triple amount of the difference. 

I hopefully learned my lesson. From now on, when I go to the pharmacy, I will ask if there is a generic version of the medicine available. The other medication I take doesn't have a generic. But at least I remembered to ask after this pricey mistake. 
One of my kids just started on Ritalin LA. I will ask if there is a generic version available locally, that can also make a difference.

I'm one who sees no point in name brands, and yet, with medication, I didn't think about price comparing and looking for generic versions. 

For me, this difference is relatively minor in the grand scheme of things because of the good health insurance I have. But for those of you without health insurance or with large copays for medication, hopefully going generic can save you even more money.

So don't make my mistake. Ask about alternatives. Even for things like ibuprofin (yes, there are name brands and generic versions locally). You can price compare with medication. It doesn't mean that you are getting inferior quality. It just means you aren't paying more for the name.

Do you take medication regularly? Do you have insurance covering it, or do you pay a lot out of pocket? When you take meds, do you take name brand or do you use generic brands?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. Generic is usually fine for me. I have found that some of the generic psychiatric meds don't work as well for me as the brand name. You may want to monitor how you feel when you go from the brand name to the generic. I hope you do well on the generic, as they are much more affordable.

  2. Cymbalta is 28 pills to the box...whereas the generic brand is thirty to the box. I've been requesting for three months now the generic and I even explained why to the regular pharmacist in my local pharmacy in my HMO clinic.
    When I tried asking the Head Administrative Secretary if she could help, she responded to me w "Are u sure u need all the meds that are prescribed to u?".
    She is not my GP nor any GP so where does she come off making such statements like that to me as if she is questioning my medical truths in all of my illnesses...
    I prefer to get my prescriptions on a month to month basis as I do live quite close to HMO clinic

  3. It's so frustrating to realize a mistake like that after it's too late to change it.

  4. Sorry to hear about your mistake. I'm not on any prescribed medications, just take some supplements like D3 since I work at night and don't get to see the sun much.

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