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Fact Checked

A Prescription Is Worth A Second Opinion

Modern drugs, particularly modern prescription drugs, are expensive. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it. There are also hundreds of varieties out there, and that’s true even if you only count the newest name-brand-only medications. Many of them are powerful or niche enough that they have no real competition, but for drugs that fight symptoms like general pain or treat mental disorders like depression the market is so flooded that pharmaceutical companies will spend a lot of money to advertise their product. As their favorite sentence goes, “Ask your doctor if XXXX is right for you.”

Where Drug Ads Really Go

However, when it comes to prescription drugs, all the power really lies with the doctor who holds the prescription pad, and so the real advertising money goes towards sales representatives and “thought leaders” who speak with doctors directly in order to promote their products over those of their competition. There are tens of thousands of pharmaceutical sales representatives all across America, and they’ve been accused of using some fairly shady tactics. These tactics include providing free lunches for the entire clinic, handing out free samples to get doctors to consistently prescribe their products, convincing doctors that somehow their brand name product is better than any generic (even though by law generics have to be exactly the same), and, worst of all, suggesting to doctors that their drug may have some off-label uses which are actually just irresponsible ways to sell more pills.

Where You Come In

If your doctor prescribes a name-brand medication for you, you should ask him or her what year the drug hit the market. If it happened over a decade or go, there’s a chance that the drug’s patent is already void, and if it happened over two decades ago, it’s guaranteed that the patent is up. If that’s the case, it means there are generics available, and since generics have to be medically identical to their branded colleagues, there’s no actual reason to go with a brand name over a generic aside from a possible placebo effect if you trust brand names better.

But if your physician prescribes a brand name and it’s not because there are no alternatives or because you’re the one who demanded it, then he or she may not have only your own best interests in mind. As such, if the medication is expensive or if your case is complex, then you definitely owe it to yourself and to your likely high-deductible medical plan to seek out a second or even a third opinion. Not only will you be saving some money on potentially unnecessary drugs, you may even avoid pointlessly harmful side effects as sales reps and doctors make promises that go way beyond the drug’s abilities. However, whether you’re buying generic or buying brand name and whether you got your prescription from the first doctor you visited or the fifth, there’s one constant that can always get you a discount of up to 75 percent off of my prescription medication: the USA Rx discount pharmacy card. The USA Rx card isn’t part of any insurance plan and you don’t need to give us any personal information to use it. All we need is your name and an email address, but if you wanted to learn more you could use our phone number, 888-277-3911, or else send us an email at [email protected]

Published November 19th, 2015 by USA Rx
Fact Checked by Chris Riley

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