To Save on Drug Costs, Consumers Cut Corners

Janice Simmons, for HealthLeaders Media , August 24, 2010

The health poll also revealed that the public has a strong desire for more safety information and details about possible side effects:  87% said that knowing the safety of a prescription drug was a top priority to them, while 79% were concerned about drug interactions, and 78% cared about the side effects of a drug.


"The safety information provided on all fronts—in hospitals, at the doctor's office, and the pharmacy—is hit or miss," said John Santa, MD, MPH, director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center in Yonkers, NY.

"When considering a new medication, consumers should ask their doctors about the drug in question, its purported use, how it should be taken, whether certain activities should be avoided, whether drug interactions are possible, and the types of side effects that could occur," Santa added.

According to the health poll, more than half (53%) of consumers currently taking medications have talked to their physicians in the past 12 months about switching to a different prescription drug, with side effects being one of the main reasons, in addition to cost and lack of insurance coverage. 

Janice Simmons is a senior editor and Washington, DC, correspondent for HealthLeaders Media Online. She can be reached at

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