Thursday, March 27, 2008

Time to Rethink Free Samples

A broken healthcare system needs to rethink a lot of areas that could save patients, government and insurance companies money. Free samples of prescription drugs and dietary supplements is one of those areas.

University of Chicago researchers recently found that, on average, patients spend 30% more for therapies that come with free samples, than on equal or better therapies that don't offer free samples.

So, leaving your doctor's office with a bagful of free samples may seem like a good way to save money, but folks banking on the freebies need to think again.

Samples cost companies a ton of money, and the cost of those samples is simply added into the price you pay for the product. In the supplement world, you are far better off to purchase from companies who don't sample, but who guarantee to return your money if you are not satisifed with the product within a reasonable amount of time.


Karen H said...

Are you suggesting that if my doctor refused to take samples, I might eventually pay less for my meds?

Harry Robinson said...

Drug and supplement sampling is not necessary because the sample amount is too small to actually let the doctor or the patient know if the drug, or supplement, will be effective.

The concept plays into our sheer delight over feeling like we are "getting something for nothing."

But, as most of our mothers told us, "there is no free lunch."

I would prefer that companies cut the cost of products and do away with "free" samples.

Anonymous said...

Another myth busted!!!

Alex said...

I am not a fan of samples. When a Dr. has given me a hand full of samples I gain the same fear as I do of receiving samples at the Men's cologne counter.......How will they react with my chemistry?!

Samuel said...

I agree with alex. I am skeptical about taking free samples from my doctor unless it is a medication that I am already taking.

Susan said...

I like free samples. It gives me a chance to see if I like the product or if I'm going to have a reaction to it. Its not like I can return my prescription.