For many of us in the Sandwich Generation, trips to the doctor's are a common occurrence. And the issues often require much more than a simple bandaid, don't they? Even if they do have cute hearts or super heroes on them (which my younger grandkids have always LOVED!) Do you need to pick up prescriptions regularly (or irregularly) for you or your senior parents? Are you on a tight budget too? It can really pay to shop around. With ONE notable exception!
I usually purchase my prescriptions for myself at Walmart. It's often a bit cheaper and I practically live there so it works out well. Most of my senior mom's I keep at Walgreens since they have the drive-up window AND later hours. Some even have 24 hours, which is awesome. Especially after a late visit to the urgent care center or the emergency room!
Recently, I was shopping at Sam's Club and had to ask a question about a non-prescription item I was buying. While there, I just happened to ask how much they charged for my one monthly prescription item. I was pleasantly surprised to discover they were less than Walmart! I immediately moved it and one over item over. I don't get in there often, so I only moved the things I could take my time at getting.
Today, as I was picking up those items, I asked about another prescription for my senior mom. It's one that comes in big amounts and rarely a rush to pick it up. It was no cheaper so I left it where it is – as the hours and location are handier for me.
It definitely pays to ask prices at the various pharmacies – then couple the amount with the needs for yourself or your elderly parents. Sometimes price may win out, sometimes convenience is more important, and it's nice to be able to make an informed decision.
What's the one exception, you ask? If it is considered a "controlled" medication, such as a narcotic (Lortab, Vicodin, etc.), some states are now getting even more creative in working hard to protect all of us from drug abuse and one way we've recently discovered is that many patients have to sign a form at the doctor's office listing the specific pharmacy they will buy that type of medication and agreeing to ONLY buy it there. If that includes your state and there are one or more medications you or your aging parents take that fall into that category, I would recommend discussing the situation with them to see which pharmacy would be the best option for that particular medication. I, personally, would recommend one – like Walgreen's – that is open longer hours. Then if you are issued a new one after a hospital visit, you won't have any problem getting it filled right away. (And talk about a timely subject – check out this link to read the latest ElderCareChat on senior substance abuse – one of the vital reasons for these new laws! )
How about you and your Sandwich Generation family? Got any medicine issues or tips to share with us? We'd love to hear.