SMART CONSUMPTION TIPS
1) Ask Your Pharmacist / Physician for Generic Alternatives
Generic drugs are low-cost versions of brand name drugs that are produced by several manufacturers once the patents expire on the brand name versions. When Health Canada approval is given, governments, private insurance plans and consumers can benefit from the availability of a lower-priced generic version of the original, brand name drug.
Quality, safety and efficacy – The big difference is price
The most important thing to know about generic drugs is that there are no differences as far as quality, purity, effectiveness, and safety between generic drugs and higher-priced brand name drugs.
All drugs sold in Canada must be approved by Health Canada. Each product must also meet the strict regulations established by The Food and Drugs Act, and both generic and brand name drugs are subjected to the very same rigorous standards.
The active ingredient in a generic drug and brand name drug must meet the same scientific norms and standards set by Health Canada. When applying to sell a generic equivalent of a brand name drug, the manufacturer must prove that the product is as safe and effective as the brand version. The manufacturer must also prove; that the active ingredients in the medicine are as pure, dissolve at the same rate, and are absorbed in the same manner as the original product.
Source: Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA)
2) Be Aware of Dispensing Fees
This fee is posted by each pharmacy (in Ontario), typically near the cash register or where you place or pick up your script. This fee varies significantly from one pharmacy to another adding to the overall cost.
A survey of the average Ontario dispensing fees in the first half of 2010 shows the following:
|A&P / Dominion||$9.25|
3) Verify Dental Bills
We always verify our food bill. Why not our dental bill?
Why Should You Care?
Why should you try and save money when it is the insurance company that is paying? The reality is that it is your employer paying these costs at renewal.
By being a smart consumer and cost efficient you can guarantee that you will extend the life of your group benefits plan. And if you are currently paying a portion of the premium, it’s you who ends up saving money over the long-term. With drug costs continuing to rise, we all share a responsibility to keep those costs down.
Peter Demangos MBA, CFP, CLU, is the Managing Director at PDF Financial Group Inc. email@example.com