Consumer Reports' just-released poll shows 28 percent of those taking medication have taken dangerous steps to cut their drug costs.
Not taking your medication as prescribed can lead to unnecessary hospitalizations and even to death, according to Consumer Reports medical adviser Dr. Orly Avitzur.
The survey also found 8 percent split pills in half without consulting a physician. Consumer Reports says that some types of medication, such as blood-pressure pills and statins, may be OK to split. But chemotherapy or anti-seizure drugs are not.
Pills not to split include powder or gel capsules, time-release capsules, and pills with a hard coating. Be sure to always check with your doctor first.
Also, don't split pills with a knife. Instead, use a pill splitter. They're available at pharmacies for less than $10.
Consumer Reports says another way to save on prescription drugs is by purchasing generics. Many chains and some independent pharmacies allow you to buy a 30-day supply for $4. Some programs are free of charge, including the ones at Target and Walmart. Others charge a small annual fee, including those offered at CVS, Kmart, and Walgreens.