Splitting pills slashes drug costs

Splitting pills slashes drug costs

MSN has a helpful article on saving money on your prescription medications by splitting pills:

In pill splitting, patients cut larger-dose tablets in half to double the amount of smaller-dose pills they receive in a single prescription — for example, dividing 40-milligram tablets to create twice as many 20-milligram doses for the same price. And since drug companies and pharmacies don’t usually double the price of medications as the dose doubles, that can mean lower overall per-pill drug costs and fewer drug store co-pays for consumers…

[Cholesterol-reducing] statins tend to be good candidates for splitting, the researchers noted, because they linger in the body for a long time, and any impact splitting might have on their action wouldn’t greatly alter their effects. The authors cautioned, however, that not all pills can be safely split. For example, those that pass through the body rather quickly, or have special time-release coatings, are not good candidates for splitting.

After the six-month randomized trial, 89 percent said they’d be willing to continue splitting their cholesterol medications in exchange for a 50 percent reduction in their prescription co-pays, the study found. A survey returned by 109 health plan members found that 59 percent would be willing to split medications for as little as $5 to $10 in savings per prescription.

Full article here.

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Comments (2)

Splitting pills can be risky though, because the “bisects” aren’t all designed with tablet splitting in mind…so, with some meds, splitting may result in delivery of too much or too little active ingredient. Consumers should know about these potential risks.

(We’re a technical magazine, but published two articles by a tableting expert recently that might be of interest to your readers. Here are the links:

http://www.pharmamanufacturing.com/articles/2006/188.html

http://www.pharmamanufacturing.com/articles/2006/234.html

BTW Congratulations on the “Healthcare 100” index. What a useful tool, for both users and bloggers.

Best,
Agnes at PharmaManufacturing.com

Agnes,

Thanks very much for this helpful info.

And thanks for the kudos, too!

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