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 May 14, 2005
Coupons and Rebates for Medications
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Call 12 for Action has learned that most major drug makers now offer discounts, even free gifts for particular medications.   They say it's a way to save patients money. But some worry that patients may choose money over medicine.


Allergies make Chris Lemley miserable.  For relief, Chris uses a prescription medicine he was paying about 20 dollars a month for.  He saw an add offering five dollars off his prescription, and a free hypoallergenic pillow case too!  Major drug makers are not offering free gifts, coupons and rebates.


We contacted several major drug companies.  None agreed to an interview.  But one did send us a taped statement saying its programs save patients money and open lines of communication.

Coupon programs, like those for crestor and nexium, encourage the patient to talk about a pre-existing condition.  These types of programs are intended for patients who have prescription drugs coverage but high out of pocket costs.


Some discounts require you to go to a drugs website and sign up.  But beware, the information you give is very valuable to others. Which means getting bombarded with coupon and rebate offers for all kinds of drugs. As we mentioned, all of the major drug manufacturers were contacted.  Several did stress that direct marketing of prescription drugs does have value and can help lead patients into their doctor's offices to discuss important health information.


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