| Perhaps the only thing worse than
depression is having depression and not being able to afford treatment.
I frequently get letters from those of you who are in just this
predicament. I've collected here all of the free and low-cost resources
and ideas that I have come across in the past couple of years. I
will continue to add more as I find them.
LOW COST MEDS
Pill Splitting - An article in the September
1999 issue of Clinical Psychiatry News reports that you
may be able to purchase a higher dose pill at a cost only
slightly more than the dose you're currently on and split them
In a presentation to the APA, it was reported that
patients can save an average of 37% off their current medication
costs by pill splitting. A list of the medications surveyed included
Needy Meds - This site is a bit difficult to
navigate, but all the information you need to get your meds for
free can be found by clicking the name of your drug in the list
on the left side of the page. They are also trying to sell a
book, but all the same information can be found on their web
site for free. Appears to be frequently updated.
The Medicine Program - If you do not have
insurance and do not qualify for government programs you may
qualify to enroll in a privately sponsored program. There is a
$5.00 processing fee for each medication requested through this
organization, but the medications themselves are free.
Volunteers staff this organization and the processing fee covers
their expenses. They are basically contacting the drug
manufacturers on your behalf. You may also contact these
companies directly using the information provided in the
Free Samples -
Often pharmaceutical companies provide physicians with free
samples. Ask your doctor is he/she has any samples on hand of
your medication. I used to get all my Buspar this way.
ALTERNATIVES TO PRESCRIPTION MEDS
There are several herbals and nutraceuticals
on the market that are reputed to work well as antidepressants
and anti-anxiety treatments. They are inexpensive and do not
require a prescription. St. John's Wort, melatonin, Kava Kava
and Valerian have all been very effective for me personally.