Dangerous Pharmacy Cost-Cutting

Carlene Tolbert
Carlene Tolbert
Target Pharmacist Glenda Pinion
Target Pharmacist Glenda Pinion

Cutting corners at the pharmacy might save you a few dollars, but you could be jeopardizing your health, yet more and more people are doing it everyday.

The numbers are staggering... According to Consumer Reports, one out of every three Americans admits to taking part in dangerous measures to make trips to the pharmacy counter easier on their wallets. "Twenty thousand dollars. That's a lot of money." It's that kind of pharmacy counter sticker shock that's causing Carlene Tolbert and many others to take drastic measures. "I've started taking my medicine two times a day instead of three times a day like I am supposed to because I just cannot afford it anymore."

Elon Peters says "One of my pills I'm actually cutting in half." Doing things like that could save you a few bucks now, but you will still end up paying for it eventually... With your health. Tolbert knows about that all too well. "I have chest pains." Target Pharmacist Glenda Pinion says, "Trying to wean yourself off of it, you can actually have side effects from trying to get off the drug too quickly."

One of the riskiest money saving measures is taking expired medicine... It's a gamble every time. Pinion says, 'With that you don't know how much medication you're getting and what you're taking. There are actually some drug classes that can damage organs in your body if you take it once it's expired."

There's one easy way to cut costs without cutting corners... Don't be afraid to take a medicine you have not seen advertised on TV. Switch from cholesterol reducing brand name Lipitor to generic Lovastin and you'll save $83. Switch from diabetes brand name Actos to generic Metformin and save $212. Keep in mind, while those kind of savings work most of the time, not all medicines have a generic version.