Prescription Drug Plans

One of the most expensive parts of medical care is the cost of medications. For primary care providers, these are the drugs used to treat diabetes, hypertension, cholesterol disorders, depression, infections and gastrointestinal complaints. The Publix pharmacies will now dispense for FREE some antibiotics. These are the most common antibiotics used for community acquired infections. Publix also will fill some diabetes medications, such as metformin at no charge. If you have a Publix brand glucometer, they will also fill the test strips at no charge. One recent change in diabetic care guidelines is that patients with Type 2 diabetes, or insulin resistant diabetes, may not need to check their blood sugar using a finger stick any longer. The glycohemoglobin that is ordered by your doctor is usually all that is needed to assess how well your blood sugar is controlled.

A few years ago, Prilosec was released to be sold over-the-counter(OTC). The Prilosec OTC is the exact same medication as the drug once available only by prescription. Now, a few other proton pump inhibitors used to treat reflux esophagitis will be sold over-the-counter. Prevacid is now available OTC. Soon, Zegerid will be available, too. Most insurance companies will refuse to cover the prescriptions forms of these OTC drugs. Additionally, they will require proof of use and failure of TWO of these OTC brands before they will paid for any of the remaining proton pump inhibitors. Prilosec is sold as a store brand and will be labeled Omeprazole. It is the most inexpensive option and has the exact same efficacy as once prescription only Prilosec.

Remember, reflux is often easiest to treat by avoiding the common triggers: large meals, late meals, lying down within two hours of a meal, carbonation, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and peppermint. Also, being overweight can contribute to reflux.

Lastly, the drugs used to lower cholesterol or triglycerides now have generic choices. Depending on how much of a reduction is the goal for your cholesterol, the choice of drugs may vary. It is best to make an appointment to see your provider to discuss other drug choices. Please note, there is no generic for Lipitor or Crestor.

There is a drug coupon website that may also be helpful.

May 2010