Entries in Medications (3)


Drug Discount Cards Help You Save on Prescription Meds

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- How would you like to save up to 70 percent on your prescription drugs?  It's possible through little-known drug discount cards, often available for free.

The website recently did a small study of prescription drug discount cards.  Founder Edgar Dworsky obtained five different cards offered through AAA, AARP, the National League of Cities, UNA Rx and Simple Savings.  The last three are available for free online.

Dworsky then took those cards to CVS, Costco and an independent pharmacy.  There, he checked the prices of four commonly-prescribed medications, two name brand and two generic.  His savings ranged from 0 to 71 percent, depending which pharmacy and which card he used.  Dworsky says the average savings was 16 percent.

Here's one example that shows the wild range of prices.  Dworsky priced Simvastatin, a generic cholesterol drug, at CVS:

  • Cash: $39.99
  • UNA Rx Card: $39.99
  • National League of Cities Card: $33.30
  • Simple Savings Card: $19.02

Dworsky says when he priced Simvastatin at Costco, the chain's regular price was far lower than any of the discounted prices he obtained elsewhere.  Costco charged him $5.90 when he paid cash and took another dollar off if he presented an AARP card or Costco's own prescription drug savings card.  

Consumer Reports has done price comparison surveys that found Costco's prescription prices are the best deal overall.  And the good news is that you can fill a prescription at Costco even if you're not a member.

Getting back to prescription drug discount cards, Dworsky said, "If you don't have prescription coverage, you would be foolish not to get one of these cards, particularly the free ones, because it is such an easy way to save money."

However, he said choosing a card is painful because no one card nets the lowest prices on all medications.  Some get you a great deal on one med but not on another.

So what should you do?  If you regularly take certain maintenance medications, it would be worth your while to obtain several drug discount cards, like Dworsky did, and conduct your own little study.  Use the card/pharmacy combination that gives you the best deal.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


How Often Do You Have to Replace Pricey Products?

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- As consumers well know, products from computers to cars to medications and foods often come with instructions on how long they should be kept before being replaced.

But, more often than not, the people making the replacement recommendations are the same people who profit from the products.  So are these guidelines really true?

ABC's Good Morning America set out to investigate the most common replacement recommendations, from getting the oil changed in your car every 3,000 miles to replacing your running shoes every three months.

With the help of independent experts, here are the top six replacement myths on the market today.

Replacement Myth #1: You Should Purchase New Running Shoes Every Six Months

GMA tested running shoes at a lab and found that after 500 miles one pair had minimal damage and another pair showed no wear at all.  Those results were no surprise to the testing experts at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute in New York City.

"What really matters when you're thinking about your running shoes is how many miles are on them," said Stacy Genovese, director of Consumer Electronics and Engineering at the Institute.  "So if you're an avid runner, running 25 miles a week, you need to replace them more quickly than someone who's just a casual runner who's running five miles a week."

Replacement Myth #2: Expired Foods Will Make You Sick

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says the dates stamped on processed foods packages have to do with quality, not safety.  Other than meat, foods past their expiration date are not dangerous, the FDA says.  They just may not be as nutritious or flavorful.

Replacement Myth #3: You Must Get Your Car's Oil Changed Every 3,000 Miles

GMA called 10 auto-repair shops and asked how often we should change the oil in a 2004 Honda Pilot SUV.

The two Honda dealerships that were contacted, along with one other shop, said the oil should be changed every 4,000 to 5,000 miles.  The remaining seven shops said to change the oil every 3,000 miles.  But they were all wrong.

Honda's own owners' manual for the 2004 Pilot instructs owners to change the oil on the vehicle just every 7,500 miles.

Replacement Myth #4: Expired Drugs Could Endanger Your Health

When it comes to prescription drugs, those written expressly for you by your doctor, the expiration dates should be closely watched, and followed.  The medications you purchase over-the-counter at your local pharmacy, however, are another story.

"If they're pills, things like pain relievers and analgesic medicines, they're going to be good for several years after they expire," ABC's chief medical expert Dr. Richard Besser told GMA.

"One thing to keep your medicines lasting longer is to take them out of the bathroom," said Dr. Besser.  "Hot, steamy air will cause your medicine to break down sooner."

Replacement Myth #5: Your Computer Becomes Obsolete as Soon as You Buy It

GMA quickly learned this myth is a giant whopper.

"As long as the computer's not really running slowly, there's no reason to upgrade," Genovese said.

In fact, as long as your computer has at least one gigabyte of RAM, and if you are just using your PC for things like checking email and shopping online, there is no need to replace it with another.

Replacement Myth #6: You Have to Replace the Ink Cartridge When Your Printer Says So

Not so.  In fact, you can keep printing well past the moment the warning lights on your printer start blinking.

Tests conducted by PC World magazine found that some ink cartridges are, in fact, still 40 percent full when the indicator says they are empty.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Pfizer Announces Fourth-Quarter Earnings, Planning Cuts to Research

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -  Drugmaker Pfizer announced fourth-quarter earnings Tuesday and said it plans to cut research in order to maintain per share earnings for 2012.

Fourth-quarter sales in 2010 met expectations with revenues of $17.6 billion. Total revenue for the year ended at $67.8 billion. The company, however, lowered its 2012 sales forecast by three percent, or approximately $2 billion, but promised to maintain 2012 earnings per share forecasts with further cuts to research.

Pfizer plans to cut its research and development budget by roughly $2 billion dollars, down to approximately $6.5 billion from $8.5 billion.

Cuts will include closing a research laboratory in Sandwich, U.K., that employs close to 2,400 people. According to the BBC, the site performs research and development on allergy and respiratory drugs.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio