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Dangerous Drug-Cost Cutting

<font size=2> <P>In a tough economy, saving money here and there is typical...but what about when it comes to the cost of your health?</P> <P>Consumer Reports shows its latest poll numbers on folks pinching pennies with their precsiption drugs.</P></font>

The grim economy is prompting people to cut back on spending in many areas. But there's one area where that could have dire consequences - prescription drugs.

Consumer Reports' just-released poll shows more than a quarter of those taking medication have taken dangerous steps to cut their drug costs.

Greg Parker has more.

"How can I help you?"

Pharmacist Linsay Davis hears from many people struggling to pay for prescription drugs.

"We have found a lot of customers do try to cut corners with their medications."

That's in keeping with what Consumer Reports national research center found in its latest poll on prescription drugs.

"Twenty-eight percent of people who currently take medication said they took potentially dangerous actions to save on drug costs."

Twelve percent skipped a scheduled dose. Thirteen percent took an expired medication. and 16 percent skipped filling a prescription.

"Not taking your medication as prescribed can lead to unnecessary hospitalizations and even death."

The survey also found eight percent split pills in half without consulting a physician.

"Some types of medication, such as blood-pressure pills and statins, may be okay to split. But chemotherapy or anti-seizure drugs are not. Be sure to always check with your doctor first."

Consumer Reports says pills not to split include powder or gel capsules, time-release capsules, and pills with a hard coating.

Also, don't split pills with a knife. instead, use a pill splitter. They're available at pharmacies for under ten dollars.

Consumer Reports says another way to save on prescription drugs is by purchasing generics. Many chains and some independent pharmacies allow you to buy a 30-day supply for four dollars. some programs are free, including the ones at target and walmart. Others charge a small annual fee, including those offered at cvs, kmart, and walgreens.

For KFDX-3 News, I'm Greg Parker. Back to you.

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