Harvard Men's Health Watch

Medical memo: Pill splitting

Medical memo

Pill splitting

Medications can be very expensive, but very important. In a perfect world, we'd all be able to afford the necessities of life "" and some luxuries, too "" but in the real world, it's important to contain costs whenever possible.

To reduce your medication expenses, ask your doctor to prescribe the least costly medication that will meet your needs; in many cases, you'll save by switching from a brand name to a generic. Shop around for the best pharmacy prices available in your community, by mail, or online, but always pick a reliable source. Don't purchase more pills than you need or ask for prescription medicines to have on hand "just in case"; you'll waste money, and a welter of extra pill bottles in your medicine chest is a prescription for medication errors and side effects. And if you are eligible for prescription drug coverage, look for the plan that will do the most for you.

Struggling to understand the fine points of insurance plans can be maddening, but there is a much less harrowing way to cut costs. Instead of splitting hairs, consider splitting pills.

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