This is an excerpt from the CNBC Make It newsletter. SUBSCRIBE HERE.
How much would you pay to keep what you think is most attractive about yourself?
For me it’s my hair. My hair was always there when I felt otherwise unattractive—thick, braided, and widowed at its peak. I started taking medicine to stop it.
It’s an emotionally driven decision, and if you’re not careful, you could end up parting with more money than you need to.
In the years since I started anticipating hair loss, a handful of companies have started pitching themselves to people with concerns similar to mine. It provides reassurance that hair thinning and loss of sexual performance can be treated without consulting a doctor.
If they existed at the time, this is the company I most likely would have signed with. And I probably overpaid.
Why it costs money to buy low-cost prescriptions
When I sign up for an online hair loss subscription, I pay over $20 a month for finasteride, the drug I take.
It may not seem like a big difference. After all, you pay for convenience. To get a cheaper price, I had to go to a doctor, compare prices online, and show my face at a physical pharmacy.
But if you’re on a tight budget or need expensive treatments, this kind of trip is almost certainly worth it.
Going to the doctor is nobody’s idea of fun, especially for treatments you’re sensitive to. But ideally, your doctor takes a holistic view of your health. The condition you want to treat may actually be a side effect of another drug you are taking. Maybe there are cheaper alternatives to the treatments you’re struggling to get.
The same applies to face-to-face pharmacists. Your pharmacist may be able to refer you to coupons, rebates, or copay assistance programs available for your prescribed medicines.
And never pay full price for a drug without doing research online first. With free coupons on sites like GoodRx and ScriptSave WellRx, you can virtually eliminate prescription costs.
In addition, depending on your financial situation, you may be eligible to receive free or discounted medication through the pharmaceutical company’s patient assistance program. Search for treatments on NeedyMeds.org to see if such programs exist and how to apply.
Sign up now: Get smart about money and your career with our weekly newsletter
Do not miss it: Investment experts predict a ‘soft landing’ for the economy in 2023.