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5 Tips to get the best value for your money

1. Avail your medicines only from FDA-licensed pharmacies. Check for the License to Operate (LTO) issued by the FDA. This should be posted conspicuously in the pharmacy to be readily seen by consumers. Apart from big chain pharmacies, there are also Public Hospital Pharmacies and other independent drugstores which may offer cheaper generics alternatives. It pays to compare prices across drugstores near you.

2. Discuss your treatment options with your doctor. Doctors sometimes prescribe medicines without regard to a patient's ability to pay. It is important to discuss with your doctor how much is your budget for your medications especially those that you should take for an extended period of time. Do not hesitate to ask if the medicine has a generic counterpart. Wise use of money will help in the completion of your treatment regimen.

3. Always ask for generics. Generic medicines should contain the same active ingredients as that of branded medicines. FDA already looks at the quality of medicines before they are approved to be marketed in the country. Thus generics should have the same quality as the branded ones. Choosing generic medicines can save you as much as 90% off the brand-name price tag.

4. Follow the treatment regimen given by your doctor. Take your medication as instructed by the health provider. In cases of missed dose, take the medicine as soon as you remember it. Not completing your drug regimen decreases the efficacy of treatment, worsens your illness and leads to waste of money.

5. Report any problems with your medicine to the FDA. For any unusual reaction experienced after taking your medicine, call the doctor immediately and notify the FDA through its hotline number: (02)8078275. Make sure to keep a sample of the medicine for evaluation by the FDA.