We’re probably all familiar with the sting of being prescribed a necessary medication with a hefty price tag by the doctor. But chances are, some of us have also felt the relief of being handed free samples at the doctor’s office. If you haven’t, you may be asking yourself, “where do these free samples come from, and how can I get my hands on them?”
Pharmaceutical company sales reps give these free samples to doctors, so they can try new drugs on patients without the patient having to pay for something they may not stick with. Doctors who have free samples to offer usually reserve them for those patients who they know to be struggling financially.
However, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask your doctor whether a sample is available for a drug after it’s been prescribed to you. A month’s supply of a brand name drug for free often amounts to a decent savings.
But, you better start asking now: the number of free samples being given to doctors has been declining over the past few years. This is because many drugs’ patents are expiring, paving the way for generic versions to be sold. Without these once exclusive brands to promote, the pharmaceutical companies’ salesforce budgets are dwindling. So, there aren’t as many sales reps visiting doctors or samples to offer.
Further, more doctors are turning down these samples than in the past in order to prevent the appearance of impropriety.
Have you ever received a free drug sample from your doctor for a big savings? Tell us below!