High health care costs concern me

February 15, 2012 Denise Pinkney

When the new year started, I was determined to spend less money on health care in 2012. Wouldn't you know, I got a terrible sore throat and a horrible cough that wouldn't go away despite drinking ginger tea and fruit smoothies, eating chicken noodle soup and taking over-the- counter cough syrup. On Jan. 3, I called the nurse hotline to see if I needed to see a doctor. And sure enough, she said I did. Fortunately, I was able to schedule a doctor's appointment for that afternoon. Unfortunately, the bill was nearly $200. On the bright side, my two prescription drugs were generics.

While I can't control the cost of a visit to the doctor's office, one thing I can control is asking for a generic drug instead of a brand-name drug.  

Brand name versus generic drug graphic

Using generic drugs can save you lots of money.  I asked the folks at work to run some prices on brand-name and generic drugs. The leading brand-name drug for cholesterol costs $222. The generic—a mere $11.42. 

Got problems with heart burn?  The leading brand-name drug for antacids is $265.74. The generic—just  $29.95. 

And if you're dealing with depression, the leading brand-name antidepressant costs $152.90 while the leading generic is only $11.93.

So, what do you think of using generics to save money? I challenge you to take a look at the medications you take and ask your pharmacist if there are generics available for any of them. You might be surprised how much you save.