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Yes, you can talk to your doctor about drug costs

(KOMO file photo)

Even for those who have insurance, the cost of prescription drugs can be a budget buster. And yet, many of these people don’t talk to their doctor about it.

A recent national poll conducted by the University of Michigan found that 27 of the respondents who were 50 to 80 years old considered their prescription drug bills to be a financial burden, the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter reports. Nearly half of them never told their doctor about this, even thought this is clearly a medical issue that their doctor should know about.

Consumer Reports Deputy Editor Lisa Gill says patients should not be afraid to discuss drug prices with their doctor. Most doctors don’t think about cost when they write a prescription, she noted.

"Doctors say they don't actually know the price of medication and it's not top of mind for them,” Gill said. So we encourage both doctors and consumers to bring up the issue of cost because we can clearly see that when a consumer can't afford that medication, they may not take it as prescribed or they may not take it at all."

Something else you might ask your doctor: Are you taking any drugs that you really don't need to take any longer?

"We learned that only half of Americans have ever asked their doctor if they can stop taking one of their medications,” Gill said. “And when they do, three-quarters of the time a doctor says yes and will stop that medication.”

Gill says it’s perfectly acceptable to ask you doctor if there are any medications you’ve been prescribed that you no longer need to take. And if you do need it, is there a lower-cost option that will treat your condition.

More Info:

Save Money on Meds: 9 Tips for Finding the Best Prescription Drug Prices

Why Drug Costs Keep Rising—and What You Can Do About It

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