View Full Version : Splitting Pills saves money

09-07-2004, 10:31 PM
For those of you that take medications on a regular basis, this is a pretty good article. It could save you money. If you want to put this article to use, just make sure you're not taking time-release pills....for example, those ending in XR like Effexor XR, CR like Paxil CR, XL or SR like Wellbutrin SR and Wellbutrin XL, 12 or 24 hour sinus meds, etc.


"Splitting pill cuts prescription cost

By Karen Uhlenhuth
Knight Ridder News Service

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A month's supply of 50-milligram tablets of the antidepressant Zoloft retails for about $86.

Unless you know a trick that can slash the price in half.

Patrick Voight, a pharmacist at the Hassig Drug Store in Kansas City, Kan., knows that cutting a pill in half can slice a sizable portion from the pill's cost. Sometimes that's just what this pharmacist orders.

Pill-splitting exploits a curious aspect of drug-pricing. Some drugs come in more than one dosage without much difference in price. That means someone taking, for example, a 50-milligram dose of a drug could buy the 100-milligram version and cut the pill -- and maybe the price -- in half.

Voight says physicians may not be aware of the pill-splitting option or don't mention it because they assume their patients have insurance that covers most of the cost of drugs.

Because medicines have many subtle features that control their function, consulting with a pharmacist first is a must. Many medicines can be undermined if cut open. Timed-released medicines, for example, must remain intact.

Also, pills encased in a hard coating in many cases should not be split, officials said.

Because pills rarely split 50/50, it's critical to know how precise a given medicine's dosage must be. For a small fee, some pharmacists will do the dividing. "