Most thyroid patients take at least one thyroid medication - usually a thyroid hormone replacement drug like Synthroid or Armour Thyroid, or an antithyroid drug like Tapazole (methimazole).
Many thyroid patients also find themselves dealing with a variety of other health conditions - often related to symptoms and side effects of the underlying thyroid or autoimmune condition. It's not uncommon to hear that in addition to thyroid medicine, a thyroid patient is also prescribed a beta-blocker (for blood pressure), antidepressant, an anti-anxiety medication, a statin drug (for high cholesterol) and/or a prescription sleep medication, for example.All these costly prescription medications can quickly add up, making it expensive - and sometimes even prohibitive - to follow the doctor's recommendations regarding drug treatments.
How can thyroid patients save money on prescription drugs? Patient Empowerment guide Trisha Torrey has put together an excellent article to help you save money on prescription drugs: Five Tips to Help Patients Reduce Drug Costs.
Another helpful resource is Trisha Torrey's article Where to Find Free and Low Cost Prescription Drugs: Lists by Store Name and Locations.
Generic DrugsFor many categories of medications, generic drugs can be a way to save money, as Trisha Torrey explains in The Benefits and Differences of Generic Drugs.
Thyroid patients do need to be careful, however, about filling their prescription for levothyroxine with generic medication, instead of brand names like Synthroid, Levoxyl, Levothroid, and Unithroid. Many physicians do not recommend that patients use generic levothyroxine based on concerns about potency differences among different manufacturers. The specific issues with and guidelines for generic levothyroxine users are explained in this article on Concerns About Generic Levothyroxine Medications.
Prescription Assistance Programs and Discount Drug CardsOne way some thyroid patients can save money is through a prescription assistance program. These are organizations that help qualified patients get prescribed medications at reduced prices, or in some cases, at no cost. Some are non-profit or government- run, and others are subsidized by the drug companies themselves. An excellent overview of these programs is featured in the article Prescription Assistance Programs: Helping Patients Afford the Prescription Drugs They Need.
Thyroid patients may be interested to know that a number of thyroid drug manufacturers have their own prescription assistance programs as well. Listings of drug manufacturers and drugs covered by patient assistance programs can be found at PatientAssistance.com and RxAssist.org. Some of the thyroid drugmakers that have prescription assistance programs include:
- Abbott Patient Assistance Program
- King Pharmaceuticals Patient Assistance Program
- Genzyme Patient Assistance Program
- Forest Pharmaceuticals Patient Assistance Program