Every euro counts these days so what savings can you make
on the health front?
– Here are a few ‘savings savvy’ ideas.
Don’t be afraid to ask for generic alternatives of over the counter drugs,” says Irish Pharmacy Union spokesperson Kathy Maher.
“Also ask your doctor to prescribe generically rather than write Amy Bracken meets a group of rural women brand names down on the prescription. That way we can give you the cheaper alternative.
from the Irish Tug of War Association ahead of Some people think that if it’s cheaper it’s not quite as good,” she says, “but this isn’t true. The box mightn’t be as shiny but the their appearance at the European Tug of War active ingredient is always the same strength and quality and we as pharmacists stand by the generic drug being as good.
Sometimes Irish people tend to be a bit too brand loyal but there is no difference in what you’re getting.” Savings can be substantial, she says. Here are some examples: PARACETAMOL Ask for paracetamol rather than a brand like Panadol and you will save over a euro each time.
Paracetamol is the generic or active ingredient name of this pain relief drug. Names like Panadol are just marketing names used by the companies who manufacture paracetemol.
HAY FEVER TABLETSThere are quite a few brands of that on the market. The market leader is Zirtek but the generic equivalents are called Cetirelief and Zirpine. Again these cost over a euro less. Cetirizine is the active ingredient.
OTHER PAIN RELIEFNurofen is a brand name but the cheaper alternative is Euplex. They both contain the active ingredient ibuprofin. Again about €1 in the difference.
COLD SORE TREATMENTZovirax is the brand leader and retails at around €10.50 but genet-ic alternatives Viralief and Asic are about €3 cheaper for the same Georgie Spain
Helen Coyle
Sharon Duane
Changes in legislation are also on the way in 2012 that will al- low pharmacists to dispense generically on prescription, the IPU The sport may have
“This will give us the leeway to offer the generic alternative. At the moment, if a doctor puts down Losec (for gastric conditions) we have to dispense that because it’s the law.
If the doctor wrote the drug name omeprazole (active in- gredient name) we could offer the patient the cheaper generic Prices of off-patent drugs dropped substantially in 2010 due to new contracts being negotiated between the Department of Some dropped by 40%, some by 5-6% and some went down by a massive 70%, for example, Valtrex (shingles medication) which used to cost €150-200 for the five day course. Now costs Another example is Klacid. This antibiotic used to cost €35-38 for a 5 day course. Now it’s around €9 or €10 so that’s a huge Giving up smoking can save you a lot of money. That’s not alone on what you won’t be spending on the cigarettes themselves e.g 8.63 for 20 x 7 days a week = a saving of over €3,000 a year.
Don’t forget that life insurance can also get a lot cheaper once you are a non-smoker for a year. Normally smokers pay as much as double the premium for the same level of life cover.
According to the National Consumer Agency you could save more than €13,000 over the life of a policy if you gave up smok- ing. If you’ve already given up smoking ask for a review of your Don’t forget that you can claim tax relief on some medical ex- penses incurred by you or your qualifying dependents.
Most expenses, apart from routine dental and eye care costs, qualify for this tax relief. See www.revenue.ie
See www.arthritisireland.ie Arthritis Ireland has a leaflet on
Gout downloadable from this website: www.arthritisandpain-
Dr Fahim Khan holds rheumatology clinics in Aut Even hospital, Kilkenny, St Francis’s hospital in Mullingar and the Whitfield Clinic, head at the same site. CL

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