- Sikeston singer moves on with 'The Voice' (10/16/17)
- Past Rowdy the Redhawk mascot's identity revealed (10/15/17)
- College algebra to be removed from Southeast required curriculum (10/10/17)1
- Cancer will 'change your life, but it doesn't have to rule it' (10/8/17)
- Police chief, council: Cape Girardeau faces growing gun violence (10/17/17)4
- Developer asks court to OK tax district board for improvements near Hobby Lobby (10/17/17)4
- Bills addressing equal child custody to be filed, legislators say (10/13/17)
- Cape Christian School burglarized (10/18/17)
- The last person to be laid to rest at Old Lorimier Cemetery: Mary Russell Fox (10/17/17)2
- Load shift kills Jackson trucker (10/17/17)
Americans who rely on expensive drugs to maintain tolerable health are crafty. Many of them have been splitting pills to save money for years.
Why split a prescription drug? Because pills with a 30-milligram dose of medication generally cost only a little more than the same medication in a 15-milligram dose, for example. So splitting a 30-milligram pill results in a cost savings of nearly 50 percent for a 15-milligram dose.
How much money does pill splitting save overall? A lot. The Department of Veterans Affairs says it saved $46.5 million last year by asking more than a million veterans to split one cholesterol drug.
Many doctors and pharmacists have been helping pill takers save money. Doctors frequently advise patients about which pills can be safely split without altering the effectiveness of the medication. And pharmacists can provide much of the same information -- and often offer to split pills for customers who request it.
All of which leads one local pharmacist to wonder why pharmaceutical companies don't recognize that pill-splitting is becoming more and more commonplace. So why don't the makers of the pills sell the 15 milligram-dose pill at a significant savings?
Even the FDA concedes that pill splitting is growing as Americans who rely on medications choose to cut pills in half or not take expensive medications. The FDA cautions that patients should consult their doctors before splitting pills.
The savings created by pill splitting are realized not only by individual patients, but by insurance companies and employers who underwrite health plans for their employees. Some insurance companies are promoting pill splitting by providing devices to made the task easier.
Millions of Americans are looking for ways to cut their medical costs. Pill splitting looks like one of the easiest, as long as patients get good information from their doctors and pharmacists.