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The Truth about Branded Drugs – Save Money on Medicine
Prescriptions and keeping a basic stock of medication in your house can be an expensive business. The cost of prescriptions has risen drastically over the last few years and the cost of a variety of drugs sold in pharmacies around the UK can range greatly.
However, there is a way to save money on these all-important expenditures. Avoid buying branded drugs!
Just doing a little bit of research into branded drug alternatives and the active ingredient you require can help you pick more purse-friendly options in the medicine aisles.
Prescribed medication? Could it be cheaper over the counter?
If you have been prescribed a common drug by your doctor, could you get it cheaper over the counter? Whether you’ll be on this drug for a short time or as a long term aid for a health problem, it is worth looking into the options of how to obtain it.
The prescription of mild painkillers (Paracetamol and Ibuprofen), allergy tablets (Chlorphenamine Maleate) and mild laxatives (Movicol) can be acquired for less without a prescription. This could save you a lot of money in the long run while still obtaining the medication you require.
Discover the active ingredient you need and look for the cheapest option
It sounds obvious but marketers are great at persuading people to use their products. Marketers of drugs brands promote themselves as a trustworthy brand that is ‘the only name you need to know’. Because of this, we usually stick to buying the same drugs regardless of price when we need to stock up on tablets.
However, shop and own brand drugs are exactly the same and a lot cheaper on your wallet. Let’s just take a couple of examples. Shop-bought Loperamide is cheaper than Immodium, whose active drug to help your condition is Loperamide. For hayfever sufferers, Piriton may seem the obvious choice. However, the active ingredients you need to look out for are Chlorphenamine Maleate and Cetrizine Hydrochloride, you can find these in a lot of cheaper alternatives.
The problem some people face with cheap own brand medications is that they feel it is a ‘dodgy drug’, guaranteed to make them ill. However, by law these tablets cannot go on sale unless they meet strict criteria. The company who develops the drug have unique sale rights to it for a set time but after that, any company can make the drug. Again, providing the drug meets regulations otherwise it cannot be sold. Make sure you ask your pharmacist before buying.
Brands create lots of products, many of which are all the same
This is a specific problem for brands who produce pain medication, like Nurofen and Anadin. They have multiple different tablets on the market but in the main, they are all the same just marketed differently. The ones that target something obscure or specific like migraines or period pains are usually more expensive than the original version of the tablet. Check the active ingredients, if they are same, then buy the cheaper version. Again, if you are unsure check with your pharmacist. This is a really good example of clever marketing but don’t be drawn into paying extra if you can avoid it.
Beware! Own brand may be cheaper but not always
We mentioned earlier that own and shop brand products are cheaper than the big drugs brands. In the majority of cases that is true, although there are times when it is not the case. Companies such as Boots and Lloyds have their own version of many tablets but they can at times have a higher price point. Due to some lesser known companies having smaller marketing costs, they can usually make the cost of their products cheaper. This sees them undercutting many of the drug brand names and some own brands too. It is something to be aware of and keep on the lookout for as the price difference can be significant.
Hopefully, these tips have opened your eyes to the strategies of the marketing departments of big drug businesses. There are plenty of ways to save money on prescriptions so make sure you get the best deal you can on your drugs bills.