Seniors and Generic Prescriptions -- Yes or No?

November 3, 2020

Generic prescriptions can save you some money -- especially when your fixed income feels more fixed. It might feel like your options are limited especially when generic doesn’t quite fit the bill.

“Respiratory drugs have the highest average expense per prescription, costing the typical retiree $139 for each refill.” 

Should you take generic drugs to save money? Yes and No. The bottom line is it depends upon your condition and your doctor’s advice.

Is There a Big Difference Between Generic and Brand Name Drugs?

This is a tricky question. Basically they are the same. But some of the fillers or inactive ingredients are different. The color, shape, and size will also be different. Those don’t matter.

"Generics are made to work the same way as brand-name drugs. They have the same active ingredient and are the same as brand-name medications when it comes to quality, dosage, strength, and administration."

If you don’t have a good reaction to one generic, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. In rare instances, you could be allergic to one of the inactive ingredients. It’s also important to talk to your doctor and pharmacist about all of the medications you are taking - including those over the counter.

The best healthcare happens when all parties communicate well.

What If I Need the Brand Name Prescription?

Sometimes If your doctor decides the brand-name prescription is the best treatment for you, do follow their advice. It may be expensive, but see what your options are. Part D plans often have prescription tiers and those co-pays can press your budget, for sure.

You may want to ask your doctor for samples. Search for the drug's name. It's possible the drug company is offering coupons or other payment assistance programs. Many do!

Another option is to see if your state has a wraparound plan. Remember how the Yellow Pages told us to let our fingers do the walking? We can do this with a bit of searching on our smart phones. You’d be surprised at what you can find.

“In addition to the federal Extra Help program, many state governments provide seniors with financial assistance to help with the cost of medications. These programs provide assistance as Medicare Wraparound Programs.” Paying For Senior Care


Our complete Medicare guide helps break down some of the confusion with Medicare. Sign up for through Healthy Access and get it today. Get the guide and get back to living your best life!

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