I went to the pharmacy to ask them about the liquid form of Levocarnitine and if they could get it. She came back after looking it up so she to see what the mg were so that I could tell my neuro. She also told me that l-carnitine OTC is exactly the same thing. It only costs about $16 for a month supply as apposed to over $200 a month I was paying!
I'd asked my neuro if it was ok to take it and what the dosage would be because the mg would be a different, only a little bit. He said it was and how to take it. It wasn't something that the pharmacy kept on stock but they had it in two days. I started taking it yesterday so hopefully it works.
Why on earth didn't he prescribe it to me OTC from the start? I'd been taking Levocarnitine for over three years. I could have gone on a wonderful overseas vacation with all the money I'd spent on it!!!!
Some doctors/pharmacies like to give patients the more expensive options. Some doctors actually receive money from pharmaceutical companies in some way, shape, or form.
If you're in the USA, you can search your provider on https://openpaymentsdata.cms.gov/
and it will tell you if they've received any type of money (sometimes it's in the form of food, travel expenses, etc.) and it will tell you for what pharmaceutical company. Some doctors it's one thing here and there or nothing. Then other times, I've seen providers that have HUGE list and that can be worrisome depending...
But I used to work in health insurance customer support. You'd be SURPRISED how many people, especially our disabled and elderly are being ripped off. I'd get the call every day I worked: "I can't afford my medication. Please help!"
You know how many ways there was to lower the medication costs for these people? Usually 2-5 different avenues and some they didn't know about. Pharmacy discount cards and state medicaid assistance were the more obvious. Many of these people already had state medicaid, but sometimes the medication wasn't covered. There was sometimes a generic if the person was able to take it that was usually much cheaper and sometimes there were other brands that were more cost effective, even brand names. Sometimes we would have to say, "Ask your doctor about buying this over the counter because it might be more cost effective for you." and a lot of times for supplements, it was.
The thing that made me upset was when people would call in with a combination type medication. Usually a liquid form or a cream/ointment where two medications are compounded into one tube, syringe, etc. - some of these people were paying over $100 for compounded medications bi-weekly or monthly! I remember a customer was upset they couldn't afford this. I looked up both medications separately and it was like $5 each medication for a month supply if they were in two separate tubes and the dosage was the same they were already taking. When I told them that they were furious at their doctor and were adamant that they were going to demand two separate medications, same form, same dosages, two separate tubes.
There are many doctors, pharmacies, and insurance companies that are only in it for the money.