When that splitting headache strikes, most of us don’t have the extra time to head over to the doctor. Why should we if we can quickly solve the issue with an over-the-counter solution? Making the appointment, paying for the visit, and taking the time out of one’s day to sit for however long waiting to be seen by a doctor is unappealing to most. Who wants to do if they don’t have to? Well, what if the point wasn’t that you don’t have to, but instead that you should?
The Cost of Convenience
While it may seem convenient to run over to the store when you’ve got something specific going on, you could be overpaying for the drugs you’re picking up. Among the most commonly purchased over the counter medications are for allergies, pain relief, and digestive issues.
If the necessity for any of these occurs, it might be fair to say that the circumstances in which symptoms arise may continue or happen again.
Getting a Prescription Could Save You Money
Some over the counter medications are less expensive with a prescription as insurance covers the cost partially. The cost for a prescription for something as common as allergies may be cut by as much as half the price. It may be possible as well that there is a generic version of the name-brand drug you’re purchasing.
Of course, variables like the price of copay and insurance coverage may make a difference. However, if you’re picking up a drug regularly, you may pay less with a prescription. Once you pay for a doctor’s recommendation and ability to write a script, you won’t need to do it again unless a new issue arises, or for periodic check-ins.
When It’s Time to See a Doctor
Seeing a doctor for a prescription can also help to avoid other aspects that could lead to overpaying. As much as we all like to feel like experts of our bodies and what we’re feeling, the reality is that most people are not physicians. Things like improper self-diagnosis, improper usage, or interactions with other medications can occur.
An inaccurate self-diagnosis can happen easily. If this is the case, you might be addressing the problem with a medication that can make things worse, which will result in further effort and money. A self-diagnosis may be off base altogether, also leading to having to find alternative solutions.
Extra Trips You Might Have to Take Anyway
Some people may have trouble understanding dosage and what’s right for them or use the medication in a way it is not intended for. This is less likely to happen with a consultation with a physician or pharmacist. It’s also critical to consider possible negative interactions that medication might have with your system.
While we can each make educated guesses (and Google searches), only a physician can tell based on experience. So, it may be worth doing a little digging before jumping straight to purchasing an expensive drug at your local convenience store. Avoid overpaying by knowing the facts.