A recent survey by Kelton Global, a research and consulting firm, revealed that the coronavirus has affected the health of Americans in several ways. More than one-third of us, mainly white and Hispanic Americans, have missed health appointments. And one in 10 have missed taking their prescription medications. The main reason for this is a fear of running out and not being able to refill the medicine in a timely manner, says the research group.
The COVID-19 RxSaver 2020 Survey conducted by Kelton Global also reveals that the younger generation is twice as likely than Baby Boomers to miss taking their medication, and people in the South are more likely than people in the Midwest to forgo taking their prescribed drugs.
Libby Pellegrini, a medical expert for prescription discount finder RxSaver and a nationally certified physician's assistant, says this is not the time to take chances with your health by skipping medication. She offers these tips for Newsmax readers:
- If you are in a prescription pinch, call your healthcare provider to see if they have a stash of medicine samples. "Often times a patient will return unused boxes of medication because they have switched brands," she says.
- Ask your provider if you can switch your prescription to a generic brand to save money. "This is a much better strategy than taking your medication inconsistently or stopping it entirely," says Pellegrini.
- Look into prescription drug discount cards that could help you save 80% on your medications.
- Allocate those medications labeled "as needed" when you see fit. Don't wait to feel worse before you take them.
- Never stop taking your medication "cold turkey," says the expert. "Always consult with your healthcare provider, who can guide you on a safe taper method." Stopping abruptly can have unforeseen and potentially serious side effects.
- When it comes to health visits during the COVID-19 crisis, see if your provider offers virtual visits. "It's a good idea to stick to your regularly schedule appointments," says Pellegrini. "It's an investment in your health right now and may prevent potentially higher treatment costs down the road."
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