How to Talk to Your Doctor About Prescriptions
When the doctor writes you a prescription, often he or she will write it out and not even tell you the name, how often to take it or what it does. So the First Question needs to be: "What is this?" Second Question: "Is this a brand name or generic medication?" If the medication is NOT generic, the Third Question is: "Is there a generic medication that treats the same thing that this brand name medication treats and why can’t I take the generic?"
Write that down on a sheet of paper and take it to your doctor: "Is there a generic medication that treats the same thing that this brand name medication treats and why can’t I take it?"
Do Not ask if there is a "generic version" of the medication. You are setting yourself up for a "No" because most often there is not a true, literal, generic equivalent. However, there usually IS a therapeutic equivalent (i.e. a medication that treats the same condition) that IS generic.
Sure, you may have to take the expensive, brand name medication because that is the best thing for your particular situation, but there are great generic medications for:
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Heart Burn
- and many others
Make the doctor work to save you money. He or she has NO idea that you have a $75 copay for that brand name medication and a $5 copay for a generic. You have to bring it up. It is a culture change not just for patients, but for doctors as well. You, the consumer, have to look out for your own costs. Your doctor wants to help you, but you have to help the doctor, help you. Help the doctor, help you.
This is one in a series of HealthHarbor articles contributed by Dr. Eric Bricker. Dr. Bricker is the Chief Medical Officer of Compass Professional Health Services, whose mission is to 'to enable consumers and employers to receive and purchase higher value healthcare.' Compass can be found online at www.compassphs.com