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Consumers Urged to Learn the Power of Generic Medications

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October 21, 2008

Columbus, Ohio – As health care costs rise, many people worry about whether they will have enough money to put food on the table after paying for their prescriptions. There is a way to spend less and still receive the medicine they need, however. A new program is working to inform consumers that they can lower their drug costs by using generic medications.

The Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks and The Universal Action Healthcare Network of Ohio are spreading the word that generics are safe, effective and affordable. Spokeswoman Nora Nees says consumers can save up to 80 percent by making the switch.

"They can take the money that they were spending on name-brand medication, put that back into their household budget, spend more money on food and rely less on the emergency food assistance network."

Nees says people should talk with their doctors or pharmacists to learn how they can benefit from the use of generic medicines, which are approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration.

In these hard times, many people are being forced to make tough decisions that are affecting their health, she adds.

"People have to cut money somewhere. I've heard people tell me that they are cutting back on their medication, they're only taking half a dose when they should be taking a whole dose or they are stopping it all together."

A recent survey found that 14 percent of people assisted by hunger networks in Ohio said high prescription drug costs were one of the reasons they needed food assistance.

More information on the "Generics are Powerful Medicine" program can be found at oashf.org.

Mary Kuhlman/Kevin Clay, Public News Service - OH