Choosing Medications Wisely
The rising cost of prescription and specialty medications is alarming. The most recent example of how expensive these types of medications can be is the price hike of the life-saving EpiPen, which now costs more than $600 for one pack of two EpiPens.
If you take prescription medication, using the following strategies can help you become a wiser health care consumer and save you money:
- Shop around—Drug prices are not the same at every pharmacy. You may be able to save money by shopping around.
- Ask about drug substitution—When your doctor prescribes a drug, ask if a cheaper alternative is available or if an over-the-counter drug will work just as well.
- Consider using a generic version of your prescription drug—Generic medications work just as well as brand-name drugs and can cost up to 80 percent less.
- Look into discount card programs—Some drugstore chains offer discount prescription cards that provide additional discounts on your prescriptions for a small monthly or annual fee.
Check Your Tap Water for Chromium-6
A recent report from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit research organization, revealed that there are higher-than-recommended levels of chromium-6 in the tap water being supplied to two-thirds of all Americans. EWG published an interactive map that lists its water testing results on a county-by-county basis.
Chromium-6 is a cancer-causing chemical that occurs naturally in the environment and can be produced in high quantities by industrial projects. In addition to being a known carcinogen, chromium-6 can also cause burns, pneumonia and complications during childbirth.
If you live in an area that has high levels of chromium-6, consider purchasing a filter to remove the chemical from your water. The following are the most common filters used:
- Ion exchange water treatment units—These units are effective in removing chromium-6. However, they need to be monitored, maintained and replaced fairly frequently.
- Reverse osmosis filters—These filters are often more affordable and practical for residential use and are easier to find at local stores. However, they use much more energy, and you must dispose of the filtered materials.
Important Updates: 2016 Flu Vaccine
As the 2016-2017 flu season approaches, now is a great time to get vaccinated against the flu. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get a flu vaccine.
Unlike their recommendations during past flu seasons, the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) are not recommending the nasal spray vaccine, FluMist, for the 2016-2017 season due to concerns over its effectiveness, especially in children. The CDC and AAP are now only recommending the injectable flu vaccine.
Some flu shots protect against three flu viruses while others protect against four viruses. Consult your physician to determine which shot is best for you. If you don’t have a regular doctor, you can get a flu vaccine at a local health department, pharmacy or urgent care clinic.
Getting an annual flu vaccine is the first and, arguably, the best way to protect your family during the flu season.
*Insurance products are not insured or guaranteed by the FDIC or any other government agency; are not deposits or other obligations of Summit Community Bank; are not guaranteed by the bank; and may be subject to investment risk, including possible loss of value.
This article is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to be exhaustive, nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. Readers should contact a health professional for appropriate advice.
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