Therapeutic substitution is a relatively new way for doctors and insurance companies to control prescription drug costs. Unlike the familiar practice of switching from a brand name product to its generic version, therapeutic substitution involves replacing a brand name or generic drug with another medication that is expected to have the same clinical effect. A change might save you and your insurance company money or be more effective or convenient than the old one. On the other hand, a switch may sometimes have unintended consequences.
Be an active partner in your healthcare. Keep track of your medicines and conditions, advises The National Consumers League. Talk to your doctor if your insurance company contacts you about a potential switch. Find out if the new medicine has different side effects or possible interactions with other drugs, supplements, or foods, and what signs of trouble to look for. Your health is the most important factor in determining whether a switch is right for you.
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