Cutting pills in half one way to trim medical expenses


Many people have caught on to the potential savings of asking their doctors for prescriptions for pills twice the strength of their prescribed dosage, then cutting them in half. By doing so, patients avoid paying two co-pays, and often the cost of one stronger pill is less than that of two of half the strength.

Even health plan providers such as UnitedHealthcare have embraced the contact, for certain medicines only. Among those meds it lists as appropriate for this approach are Zocor, Pravachol, Univasc, and Zoloft.

Obviously, your doctor will decide on the appropriateness of this approach. Among the factors he/she will consider are:

  • If you accidentally take a double dose, will it present a danger to your health?

  • Can the pill be split easily and accurately?

  • Will the medication be affected by splitting?

This means that some meds cannot be split. Also coated pills, capsules and some extended release pills can be damaged by splitting.

Nonetheless, this is certainly a money-saving option worth discussing with your doctor. If you then decide to split your pills, ask your pharmacist about pill cutting devices, which will make the process easy and accurate.