Saturday, February 28, 2009

Cutting costs on medication

After suffering a headache yesterday, it made me think it was about time I did a post about the cost of medicine.
I popped into my local SAVERS as it was the nearest shop to where I was located and I managed to get a box of paracetamol tablets for just 19p! Blimey, I thought Tesco medication was cheap, but I was well impressed and will no longer worry about the cost of getting a headache. Who wants to pay a fortune for a branded painkiller when you are getting the same product with the same ingredients for a fraction of the price?
So although Tesco and Asda have steamrollered in the pharmaceutical world in the last couple of years, SAVERS and similar low priced shops are undercutting most of the supermarkets.

Don't forget that you can always check the ingredients on both packets if you are unsure (I have often done this whilst standing in Boots - it annoys the shop assistants as they hand you all the packets, but what the hell!) and another way to make savings is on prescriptions.
When you put your prescription in, always ask the pharmacist if you can buy the same product over the counter. Obviously in some cases you won't be able to, but if for example you have been prescribed a pain killer, or a pain reliving cream or gel it will often save you a few pounds by buying over the conter rather than the £7.10 you will be paying on prescription, per item. Don't forget most Doctors will not have time or be bothered to tell you this, but don't expect to pop in and get your prozac cheaper, this will only apply to anything that is also available over the counter!

Are you entitled to free prescriptions?

Anyone on benefits or in receipt of Tax Credits is entitled to free prescriptions so check with your benefits office or online, to find out how to apply for an exemption certificate which will also cover you for free dental care and free eye tests.
For anyone already in receipt of free prescriptions, try to avoid paying for any medication at all, by ringing your surgery and asking for a prescription. Who wants to pay £4.50 for a tub of aqueous cream when you can get it for nothing?


  1. Wow, thanks for the Tax Credits tip, I had no idea - will definitely check that. Smashing! Have got my act together and added you to my blogroll, btw.

  2. I know I've seen own brand paracetamol are loads cheaper, thank goodness as I have to have supplies of them everywhere, bag, bedside table as always loosing them not because I'm an addict!!

  3. Dear Cassandra - even if you are entitled to the smallest amount of Tax Credits, whether Child or Working Tax, you can benefit. They are slow to send out the little cards (just like a credit card) but you can ask for your number over the phone as I had to do for the dentist recently. My dental receptionist, Marian, is a real bitch and said really loudly in a packed waiting room, "do you pay for your treatment?" I responded by mouthing the word "No" and opened my LV bag and pulled out my LV agenda to get my exemption number. I was a bit embarrassed but its not my fault my husband lost his City job is it?) If you speak to tax credits, they will give you the number for the prescription exemption certificates.
    Thanks for inclusion on Blogroll, you may well have readers that want to save money x
    Dear Missy - Don't buy too many packets - anymore than 50 paracetamol in the house has me tempted to end it all!