Resources to Find Affordable, High Value Medications

Every year, we face more choices about our health care. 

While greater consumer and patient involvement in decisions about our health care is important, consumers don't always have access to all the information they need to make the right choice.

Finding the best information can be especially difficult when it comes to prescription drugs. The pharmaceutical industry spends billions of dollars every year on TV ads and on marketing to doctors. They promote expensive new drugs over lower-cost alternatives that can be just as effective and even a safer choice. This much marketing and promotion by the drug industry undermine independent decision-making by physicians and by patients.

Here, we provide consumers and their doctors with information, resources, and links to in-depth explanations of prescription drug options, to help consumers make wise choices for their health - and their wallets.

The Truth About Generics - safe and affordable prescription drugs.

Generic drugs are a great, affordable way to meet prescription drug needs. In a world of rising health care costs, generic drugs are a safe and proven way to lower the cost of your medicines-without sacrificing quality. Generics are as safe and effective as their brand-name counterparts, but can cost 90 percent less. See more information on why generic drugs are a safe, effective, and affordable option chosen by millions here.

New Generic Drugs Coming in 2012-13 and 2014-15!

Are your drugs going generic soon? Dozens of expensive brand-name drugs like Cipro and Provigil have or will soon become available as affordable generics. See the lists here and here.

Lower-cost Alternatives to Expensive Brand-Name Drugs

Dozens of the best-selling expensive brand-name drugs are no better than drugs that can cost one - tenth as much - sometimes as little as $4. If you have no insurance, have high co-payment, or are just looking to save on medical costs for you or your family, go here to browse a list of recommended, lower-cost alternatives to many of the most widely-used, expensive brand-name drugs.

Navigating Prescription Drug Prices 

Ever wonder why the cost of your prescription varies from pharmacy to pharmacy? This fact sheet reveals why, and shows how, you can find hundreds of drugs for $4 or $5 - and get the same drugs you take now from your pharmacy at a lower price. Find out more here.

What You Should Know About Drug Co-Pay Coupons

Is there such thing as a bad coupon? When it comes to prescription drugs, there is. See how using that online manufacturer coupon from a drug manufacturer can reveal personal information to drug and marketing companies, and how these coupons may cost patients more in the end. Find out more here.

Lost Your Health Insurance?  -- The 340b Drug Discount Program may be your best bet

If you don't have health insurance and meet certain guidelines, you may be able to get your medicines at a discount from a local hospital or community health center through a program called "340B." Find out more here

These consumer resources were created through the generous support of the California HealthCare Foundation, and are intended to be shared freely with the public, including on other organization's websites.

Please contact Wells Wilkinson, wwilkinson(at)communitycatalyst.org if you are interested in:

This information is provided for general education only, and should not be viewed as a substitute for a consultation with a medical or health professional. Always consult a qualified health care provider for professional medical advice, diagnosis and treatment of a medical or health condition, and to discuss the risks and benefits associated with taking or not taking any drug described in these resources.
Recommendations concerning the safety and effectiveness of drug products are based upon resources developed by Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs (www.consumerreports.org/health/best-buy-drugs), a public education project from the non-profit Consumer's Union that provides free guidance on the safety, effectiveness and cost of drugs.  Additional information is from the Independent Drug Information Service (IDIS) at RxFacts (www.rxfacts.org), a consumer and provider education resource provided by the non-profit Alosa Foundation. Community Catalyst chose these sources because their recommendations are based upon scientific evidence evaluated by rigorous standards, and because their sponsoring organizations have no financial ties with pharmaceutical manufacturers. Our intent is to better inform patients about the costs and value of prescription drug options in a manner that enhances your patient-clinician communications. Please share this with your medical or health provider to initiate a conversation about the cost and effectiveness of your care.
Community Catalyst is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to making quality affordable health care accessible to everyone.  

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