Drugs can be quite expensive now, and not everyone has insurance coverage that covers their prescribed medications or makes the price lower with a co-pay. In other cases, people have to pay full price for their drugs, which can be pretty expensive. This can happen even if they have a medical insurance plan, but it doesn’t cover the specific drug.

People with and without medical insurance could use some of the following methods to mitigate the effect of expensive drugs on their wallet.

There are several tips on how to save money on prescription drugs. Those tips exclude unsafe ways to obtain medications, like buying them on the street or ordering through an unlicensed pharmacy.

Generic drugs instead of brand-name

This tip is the first that comes to mind when it comes to saving on prescribed medications. Indeed, generics in most cases have the same efficacy as their brand-name versions, but patients can obtain them at a significantly lower cost. If a physician said that a patient may replace a brand name drug with its generic substitute, or didn’t prescribe the drug to be “dispensed as written”, purchasing a generic alternative would be a wise decision.

In most cases, pharmacists provide their customers with generics unless they see “DAW” on the prescription.

For example, Prilosec. This brand-name drug used to treat GERD costs about $230 for 30 capsules, and its generic version costs only $13 for the same amount. Prices are valid as of February 2, 2017, for New-York city. All of the estimated prices are taken from Goodrx.com for Walmart pharmacy. Lower prices may be found in other pharmacies or areas.

Using preventive care services

With the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as Obamacare), people have access to preventive care services for free, regardless if they have any type of medical coverage or not. This method will not help to save money on current prescriptions, but will decrease the chance of drugs needed in the future.

Using patient assistance programs

If patient can’t afford a specific drug, using patient assistance programs is an option.

Those programs are run by pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer. Also, there are federal and state programs available for patients without medical coverage or those who cannot afford vital drugs.

Rx Outreach and NeedyMeds are only a few of the programs available across the U.S.

90-day supply instead of 30-day supply

A 90-day supply is almost always cheaper than a 30-day supply. In the long-term, this method can save not only money but also time spent to visit a doctor or a pharmacy.

Plus, if a patient has private health insurance, they can get a 90-day supply using a mail-order pharmacy. This will save even more money and it’s more convenient.

Mail-order pharmacies

Patients could save money on their prescriptions by using mail-order pharmacies. This method is more convenient than going to a pharmacy, but patients should be really careful when using online pharmacies.

Some of them could be fake and simply looking to scam customers. However, patients could avoid those issues if they use the BeSafeRx program from the Food and Drug Administration.

Pill splitting

If a physician says it is okay to split the pill, you can, as long as it is not a birth control medication or a long-acting drug. There are also drugs that are not designed to be split or drugs that have a special coating to protect the stomach. It is impossible to split these and use them without any consequences.

In all other cases, it’s a very smart move to make 20 10mg tablets out of 10 20mg tablets. This method uses the same principles as getting a 90-day supply: a twice-higher dosage does not mean a twice-higher cost.

It is very important to ask a physician about pill splitting in every specific case.

Exemption right

It is possible that medical coverage will not cover the drug that is lifesaving or really important for the patient’s health. If the patient’s physician provides the insurer with proof of the importance of the drug for the patient’s life, there is a chance the patient could get a right for exemption. With this right, the health insurer would cover the drug that is not covered otherwise.

Spending some time on a call to the insurance company could save a lot of money.

Another pharmacy – another price

A patient with an insurance plan could obtain his drugs for different prices from different pharmacies in your area. The difference could be small, only saving a couple cents, but it could be significant as well.

For example, 60 pills of Adderall will cost about $45 at Walgreens and about $79 at Kmart. That’s $34 saved just by walking to another pharmacy.

If this example is not shocking, just imagine the amount of money that would be saved if there are several drugs prescribed.

Using online medication coupons

If a patient has a high deductible plan, or if the drug is not covered, it is a good idea to check if it is possible to get the drug at a lower price by using online coupons. It is hard to save a lot of money on commonly prescribed drugs, especially generics, but savings could be huge for brand-name drugs.

One of the most commonly used services for getting online coupons is Goodrx.com.

Another way to save money is to check if there is a manufacturer discount available for the drug. If a patient is eligible for the manufacturer discount, there is a possibility they could get the drug at a low cost.

Overall drug savings

These tips, combined together, will save a lot of money on prescribed drugs for people with or without medical insurance. Each of these methods is safe for patient health, as the patient will obtain only original medications without any additional substances, which are common in counterfeit drugs. If you are not sure if some of these tips would work for you specifically, don’t hesitate to ask a physician.

With so much hype about online medicine shops, you must not have missed hearing about those. But, have you ever dared buying medicines from an online pharmacy? If you are one of those few people who haven’t, it is high time you re-consider your reasons for not opting to buy medicines from an ecommerce site. There are loads of benefits you can incur while buying from it. While you never have to leave home for buying medicines, you get attractive rebates and discounts on medicines thus bought. You could therefore save a significant amount of money on your medical bills. Given below is a comprehensive discussion regarding the benefits and advantages of buying medicines online –

1. You can strike profitable deals on buying medicines online. While you can compare prices of medicines in various online stores, you can also avail various attractive discounts and offers that these stores often provide. Besides reducing the costs of your medical bills, an online pharmacy also saves a lot of time by allowing you choose, order, and pay for your medications with just a few clicks.

2. A major benefit from buying medications from a reputed online pharmacy is that it is compatible with most insurance plans and policies. So, you can approach your insurer for repaying you the bill amount. Visit an online pharmaceutical site and gather information on the insurance policies it is compatible with.

3. A reputed online pharmacy often deals with toiletries besides essential medications. For instance, you can buy soap, shampoo, and tooth paste from such a store. Some reputed store offers pet medications too. On buying above a certain amount of money, these stores offer special rebates and discounts.

4. A reason that allures most people to buy medications from an online pharmacy is that while they never have to leave home for ordering requisite meds, the online pharmacy also makes arrangements for delivering the supplies to your doorstep.

However, beware of the fact that not all the pharmacies across the Web are reliable ones. Haven’t you heard that recently in the company’s official blog, litigation counsel Michael Zwibelman has noted that a civil lawsuit has been filed by Google in federal court against – advertisers who, according to Google, have broken rules and regulations of posting, set by the company? Make sure that the online pharmacy has the requisite licenses and registrations. While selecting store for buying medications, you must read through the policies of the store and compare it with those of other pharmaceuticals across the Web.

A great example of a reputed medicine store is Medicine4me.co.uk. This could be your cheapest one-stop-shop for all your medications and toiletry requirements.

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Pharmacy directors & hiring managers, when have you hired someone on who did so well in an interview, but didn’t perform for you after the interview? “Hire slowly, fire fast” is a motto managers are often told. Here are 3 strategies to hire the best pharmacist for the position, rather than the best interviewer:

1. Check references thoroughly by asking insightful questions. This means checking all references consistently. Ask open-ended questions and situational questions, such as ones that delve deeper into what may not have gone well & how it was handled.

“Tell me about a time when [something didn’t go well]. How did he/she handle it?”

“What is [pharmacist]’s approach to handling conflict?”

“What advice do you have for someone who may be managing [pharmacist] in the future?”

Read on for the rest of this article & 2 other strategies to hire the right pharmacist.

When you are hiring, it’s also a good time to get a sense of the environment your pharmacist would work best in. For example, you may ask a reference “what kind of practice setting/work environment/role do you feel best suits [pharmacist candidate]?” Take into consideration that personal bias may affect the answer, but if 4 references mention the same thing, chances are that you may have a trend to look at.

2. Weigh a pharmacist’s capacity for strong teamwork highly, in addition to experience & skills. Use personality/behavioral assessment tests to determine how someone fits in with the team BEFORE you hire them on. Everyone perceives & interacts with the world differently, and determining the way your new hire prefers to interact with the world can help you figure out how best to motivate/manage them, as well as teach your team how to work with each other given each person’s uniqueness. You may use the Insights Discovery, Kolbe Test, Myers-Brigg, or other assessment tool to provide you insight.

In this competitive job market, it is easy to demand that pharmacists come with higher skill sets or experience. However, keep in mind that your hiring a pharmacist primarily based on skills may reduce the amount of training time & medication errors, but doesn’t necessarily lead to long-term fit.

The most high-achieving individuals working together don’t necessarily make for the best team and progress in the pharmacy. This phenomena happens frequently in sports, where not necessarily the most high-achieving individuals win games. If you have an average team but have team members who carry a positive attitude & work ethic, work well together, and serve under outstanding leadership, you will come ahead of a team of pharmacists who are the most experienced, clinical savvy, computer system savvy but who don’t “click” as a team.

3. Create a formal training program, complete with standards of performance expectations for your pharmacy or company (which include simple yet important expectations, such as how to communicate, how important it is to be on time, etc). This will be covered more in a future blog article.

If you hired the best pharmacist, but he/she is not performing for you, explore the reasons. For example-is the pharmacist overworked to the point where he/she cannot perform the job well? Do you not have systems in place that are conducive to the pharmacy standards you want upheld? Do you focus on team building on a regular basis to optimize the energy & focus of the team? How about a strong mission & vision for the pharmacy that the whole team knows about and is working towards as a team?

GPA – GPA is one of the most important criteria for admission into pharmacy school. Most pharmacy schools do separate your GPA into “Overall GPA”, “Pre-Pharmacy GPA”, and “Science/Math GPA.” Calculating and knowing each of these GPAs will give you a better idea of what the admission staff sees. For example, you could have a low overall GPA from taking difficult classes in a difficult major at a top tier school, but with a high Pre-pharmacy GPA and a strong Science/Math GPA, you still have a good shot at being accepted to even the top pharmacy schools (assuming your other stats are stellar).

PCAT Scores – It is important to first note that NOT all schools even require that you take the PCAT. This would include California pharmacy schools as well as many others scattered throughout the United States. Check which school of pharmacy programs require the PCAT by checking the PharmCAS website or check out my other article on which schools do not require the PCAT.

Interview Performance – The interview process is an important aspect of the application process as the pharmacy school gets to see what kind of individual you are and how well you will fit into their pharmacy school. Check out real questions from applicants who were interviewed in the past application cycles by clicking the link at the bottom of this article.

Letter of Recommendations – Pharmacy schools have specific requirements on the types of recommendations that they accept. Generally speaking, recommendations from a pharmacist or a science professor who knows your ability on a personal level serve as the best type of recommendation. You will want to prepare and give ample time for whoever writes your letters to complete the necessary forms (either through PharmCAS or directly to the school) in a timely and un-rushed manner.

Pharmacy Experience – Although pharmacy experience is not a requirement, having pharmacy experience will definitely show an admission committee that you have experienced a pharmacy workplace, and a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree this is something you have no doubts about pursuing. Obtaining a pharmacy technician license (most states just require passing of the exam), will allow to garner more responsibilities in the pharmacy and further prepare yourself for pharmacy school.

Academic Rigor – Pharmacy admission committees tend to look at how heavy your course load was throughout your college career to see how you will be able to handle the extensive coursework required as a Pharm.D. student. Although you shouldn’t stress yourself out by constantly taking the maximum allowed units, it is wise to take a reasonable amount of units so that you challenge yourself yet perform well in your coursework.

Extracurricular Activities and Volunteer Work – On paper, many applicants may be very similar and what will set you apart is dedication to various different extracurricular activities and/or volunteer projects. Although it may not be a huge factor in admission, excellent volunteer or extracurricular activities will positively impact your topics on your personal statement as well as your answers during your interview.

Research Experience – Research in any field of biology, medicine, pharmacology, etc. will show an admission committee your passion and dedication to the advancement of science. Although research experience is not mandatory, it will be a strong plus for any pharmacy school applicant.

Recent Academic Performance and Improvement Trends – For students who have not performed well early in their careers, admission committees will want to generally see progression in one’s academic ability. Regression, although a red flag to the admission people, will not completely doom you from acceptance as long as you have other areas that will bolster your applicant profile. Student with under 3.0s have been accepted to the top Pharm.D. programs in the United States, so do not lose hope!

Motivation for pursuing pharmacy – It is important to know for yourself why you are dedicating 3 to 4 years of your life and a ton of loans to the field of pharmacy. Make it clear to yourself and the admission committee (through essays and the interview) your true passion and desire to become a pharmacist.

Read the Pharmacy School Application Guide for more information on the application process and useful links such as a table which lists the pre-requisite requirements at every Pharmacy University in the United States, a tuition table, and much more!

View and create pharmapplicant profiles.

As I searched on EzineArticles for pharmacy technician jobs, I found many good articles written on how to become a pharmacy technician, or various reasons why you should become a pharmacy technician. In general, they all make good points and provide useful information. It has made me think about what we are missing. I do not want to simply rehash the same topics and then add a few of my own thoughts. Then it occurred to me, I have a perspective that few people who are writing articles for pharmacy technicians have. I am the person who sits on every interview for pharmacy technicians in my institution’s inpatient pharmacy. Over the course of just one year, I probably interview about 50 to 60 technicians for about 10 to 12 openings. So here it is, what are three things you can do to get a job when you have just obtained your license/certification/registration (depends on your state), still working on your license, or maybe just moved to a new area and want to find a job (this happened to me as a pharmacy tech, and I will share one of my biggest mistakes when looking for a job)?

Volunteer or complete your required hours (depends on your state requirements for licensure/certification) in a pharmacy practice site you would like to work. Many states require you to obtain practice hours before you become a pharmacy technician. If your state does not require hours prior to becoming a pharmacy technician, then pick a set number of hours (40 to 80 hours should do it) and volunteer at a pharmacy. The pharmacy you choose should be a place you would like to work. If you know you want to work in a hospital pharmacy, then do not obtain your hours or volunteer at a community/retail pharmacy. Next, take advantage of this time by showing your practice site how good of a pharmacy technician you are. The traits I look for the most are someone who is a team player, proactive about taking on any work that he/she sees needs completing, and gets a long with other staff. I am looking for is a good fit, not necessarily the smartest tech, but the one who will be a good team member. What this time really amounts to is a trial period where the pharmacy gets to see how you work and you get to see if you really want a job there. I have had a few students who goof off or text for a large portion of their time in my pharmacy. Unfortunately, they will not even make the interview list for the next open position.
Obtain national certification, BLS/CPR, and be active in one of your state’s pharmacy organizations; and make sure you have these items on your resume. Regardless if your state requires you to get nationally certified or not, you should do it. The two major national certifications that are most recognized are the PTCB and the ExCPT. BLS/CPR (basic life support/cardiopulmonary resuscitation – for the most part it is the same thing) is a good additional skill that most pharmacy managers will consider a bonus. It tells them that the applicant is engaged in healthcare and will more likely be engaged as a pharmacy technician. State pharmacy organization (either the state ASHP affiliate or APhA affiliate) participation is another way to show your commitment to the pharmacy profession. In most states, it cost very little to be a member as a technician. Once you are a member, look for the Website link on joining a committee. If you have options, join the committee that sounds like the most fun (I personally like advocacy or legislative). Now be active in your committee, this is a great way to network with pharmacists and other technicians. Pharmacy is a small world, the more connections you make, the better off you will be. Once you have done some or all of this, make sure your update you resume.
Look on company Websites for job openings and not just the local newspaper or online newspaper site. This was my big mistake. After living on the east coast for many years I moved out to the west coast. I began looking for jobs in the local newspaper and there were a few, but not the ones I was most interested in (I was a sterile compounding tech and wanted to work in a hospital or IV infusion setting) were never open. Fortunately for me, a large health-system (the one I currently still work for after 11 years) was hiring a graveyard technician and didn’t get enough applicants from their internal site so they placed a newspaper ad. After I got a job, I found out about the company job postings Website, and I was seriously bummed that I had wasted months not looking in the right place. While you are on the company Website, do some homework about the company so that you can speak about the company during your interview. I will typically ask applicants why they want a job with my company or pharmacy, if you can respond with an answer that shows you have done some homework on the company, that will impress most interviewers (do not over do it or be cheesy, find something you genuinely like about the company).
I hope this article has been helpful to you. If you have any questions or topics for additional articles, please send them to me by submitting a comment on my Website listed in the author box.

Buying medicines from an online pharmacy is a necessity nowadays, and online generic pharmacies make it more affordable. However, customers should check which online pharmacy provides them with the right terms in terms of price and shipping cost.

With the global financial slump, people do not want to become ill today. A visit to the health care provider sometimes costs large sums of money. Getting prescription medication from the nearest pharmacy is an inconvenience, too. The option to order medicine online provides a more affordable remedy to the problem. There are also generic pharmacies on the web and they provide some of the right medications for consumers who would like to use the internet in buying drugs. Pharmacy reviews help out with picking the right online pharmacy to buy from.

The majority of online generic pharmacies have a wide range of products to choose from. You can choose from common drugs such as antibiotics, pain relief drugs, and allergy relief medications.They also have generic drugs for erectile dysfunction as well as some popular weight loss pills. However, because these are online retailers,people have to be aware that there are shipping costs charged by a number of online generic pharmacies. Obviously, that’s not always the case, as online pharmacy reviews will indicate. One generic pharmacy will not charge shipping fees, while another may charge their customers per delivery.

Polices with regards to the length of shipping and shipping price varies. As an example, some top-ranked web based generic pharmacies ship by means of registered mail and EMS. It will take about 10 to 21 business days for drugs to be shipped to customers by means of registered air mail, while EMS takes 7 to 10 business days.

EMS costs much more than registered mail, plus they only ship to a number of countries. Web based generic pharmacies will give consumers a tracking number when their purchases are shipped. Customers can now have the convenience of tracking their purchases on the web.

The duration of shipping days depends on the internet based generic pharmacy. Consumers should take a look at pharmacy reviews on the web to determine what would suit their needs. Generally speaking, a client is encouraged to submit a home address for the reason that some online pharmacies won’t process orders when delivered to post office boxes. However, it’s a good idea to check with them because some online pharmacies ship to PO boxes.

Some online pharmacies will ship 48 to 90 tablets on numerous deliveries.You can find online pharmacies that usually do not ship to what they consider as high-risk nations like Ghana, Cambodia, Haiti, and Russia. Many will even reship orders if they do not show up within a three week period and if the address provided is correct.

If an order is not delivered or is damaged during the shipping process, the online pharmacy can offer a total refund or issue a second shipment at the customer’s request. It would take 21 business days before an order is shipped. Online generic pharmacies have toll free numbers in addition to local numbers available for customers and they do not process orders on a weekend.

Shipping and refund procedures vary from pharmacy to pharmacy. It is best to check with your online generic pharmacy on their own regulations regarding shipping, delivery, and refund. Nowadays, every consumer should ensure he receives what he purchased and they should only do business with an online generic pharmacy that offers the best price and shipping cost. Pharmacy reviews can help you decide which online pharmacy offers a smooth shipment process, making sure that your purchases are shipped properly and by the due date.

The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) is the largest pharmacy tech certification organization in the U.S. PTCB announced last fall that 503,620 CPhT certifications had been granted as of June 30, 2013. You must have a high school diploma (or equivalent) and pass the comprehensive Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam (PTCE) in order to become a PTCB certified pharmacy tech.

The PTCE is recognized in all 50 states (and Washington D.C.), and the PTCE is only pharmacy technician certification exam reviewed by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. You can take the PTCE at any of the 237 Pearson VUE Professional Centers nationwide.

PTCB’s certification program not only assesses current knowledge, it also requires PTs to maintain certification by fulfilling specific continuing education requirements. PTCB-certified pharmacy techs must complete a minimum of 20 hours of continuing education every two (2) year recertification cycle.

Statement from PTCB CEO

“Passing the half-million mark is an exciting milestone in the growth of PTCB’s nationwide certification program,” said PTCB Executive Director and CEO Everett B. McAllister, MPA, RPh. “The PTCB CPhT credential represents an excellent pathway to employment opportunities for pharmacy technicians. It enables them to stay current and be prepared to meet the requirements of the occupation as our healthcare system evolves.”

PTCE Regularly Updated to Reflect Demands of 21st Century Pharmacy Industry

The PTCE is also regularly updated in consultation with the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. Modern pharmacists’ responsibilities today include significantly more direct-patient care and medication therapy management than in the past, and this trend is almost certainly going to increase with the ongoing roll out of health care reform. This means PTCB-certified pharmacy technicians need to have additional training to develop the skills necessary to help pharmacists improve patient care and safety, support new pharmacy IT systems and pharmacy operations.

Pharmacy Technician Training and Licensing

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, most pharmacy tech training programs last from nine to 12 months and lead to a professional certificate. A few PT programs last 18 to 24 months and result in an associate degree. Most community colleges and technical schools offer a pharmacy technician training program, and some larger retail pharmacy chains offer an in-house training program overseen by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists.

PT training programs cover the math used in pharmacies, record keeping, and methods of dispensing medications, as well as pharmacy law and ethics. Training typically focuses in particular on the names, uses and proper doses of common medications. Nearly all pharmacy tech programs also offer at least a few weeks of clinical experience working in a pharmacy after you have satisfactorily completed your initial training.

Almost all states require pharmacy technicians to be licensed or registered. Earning a pharmacy tech license typically requires a high school diploma, completing an approved PT training program and passing a licensing exam. Most employers and many states require pharmacy techs to be certified by a national certification board such as PTCB.

There has been a growing concern regarding fake internet pharmacies. In fact, the growth in the number of fake internet pharmacy websites has been termed as a “global disaster” by the pharmaceutical industry.

There are two things to stress here.

First, there are definitely unscrupulous con-men operating fake internet pharmacy sites. You must take care in verifying the validity of any online pharmacy before you order your medications from them.

Secondly, you need to take reports from the pharmaceutical industry with a grain of salt. Big Pharma wants Americans to continue to buy “inflated and overpriced” pharmaceuticals from their local pharmacy. It is in Big Pharma’s best interest (more profits) that you pay top dollar for your medications locally rather than buying your medications affordably from a licensed Canadian pharmacy. Therefore, they use fear to scare you away from Canadian pharmacies and Canadian prescription drugs.

So how do you ensure that you are ordering from a genuine Canadian pharmacy and not a fake internet pharmacy?

First, review the pharmacy’s website thoroughly. The website should provide you with the pharmacy license number, the physical address of the pharmacy and the regulatory body that oversees their operation. Most Canadian pharmacy regulatory bodies have a website that lists the registered pharmacies in their jurisdiction. You can visit the website http://www.napra.org in order to find the listing of pharmacies for each province in Canada or to find the regulatory body for the particular province your pharmacy is located in.

The pharmacy should also provide a phone number on their website for you to call. A pharmacist should be available for you to speak to about your order. Ask the pharmacist about their credentials and ask for their license number. If you want, you can verify this license number with the provincial pharmacy regulator.

Another item to look for is the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA) seal. CIPA is an organization that represents legitimate Canadian pharmacy sites that provide pharmacy services to patients internationally. Now, seeing this seal on a website is not a guarantee in and of itself. Fake internet pharmacies have been known to hijack the CIPA seal and place it on their website. The only way to verify the legitimacy of the CIPA membership seal is to actually visit the CIPA website at http://www.ciparx.ca and use their Verify Membership function. A fake internet pharmacy will not have its website listed here.

And the final item to look for on a Canadian pharmacy website is the PharmacyChecker seal. Pharmacy Checker is an independent agency that verifies the legitimacy of Canadian pharmacies as well as American and International pharmacies. In fact, pharmacies can not advertise on Google without a PharmacyChecker seal and Google takes this very seriously. You can verify the PharmacyChecker seal by visiting http://www.PharmacyChecker.com and clicking on the Pharmacy Ratings and Profiles.

Other than checking out the above items on the pharmacy’s website you should also make sure that the pharmacy requires you to provide a prescription from your doctor. Any website that does not require you to provide a prescription is not a legitimate Canadian pharmacy.

Follow these simple rules and you can feel safe knowing that you are safely ordering your medications online from a real, licensed Canadian pharmacy.