Most people get their prescription drugs every month, with no backup plan in case something goes wrong. But what if something does go wrong? What if a freak snowstorm blocks the roads for weeks? What if a civil emergency like the L.A. riots makes it unsafe to go to the doctors office or the pharmacy? What if a government intervention in the health care system leads to six-month delays to see your doctor — as has happened in other nations? What if your doctor is killed in a car accident and no other doctor in your area is accepting new patients quickly enough? What if an emergency forces you to relocate your family far away from civilization? What if the only manufacturer of a drug you need to live goes into bankruptcy?
None of these events are likely, in the near-term. In the long-term, some sort of major emergency is inevitable. Losing access to medication can mean the difference between life and death to many of us. Access to the advanced medicines which make our lives longer and healthier can disappear in a moment — so you need to make a plan.
Talk your doctor into providing prescriptions for medication several months in advance. Be sure to use the oldest medications first, so that your stockpile is always as fresh as possible. Store all medications under cool, dark, and dry conditions. Don’t open the medicine containers until you need them, as that can let air and moisture in, which will start to deteriorate their condition.
If you can’t convince your doctor to work with you, it’s time to find a new doctor — a doctor whose first concern is your health. You can also buy medicines without a prescription by ordering from an offshore pharmacy over the Internet or by traveling to a nation with more medical freedom.
Some prescription drugs have non-prescription alternatives. These may be modern non-prescription drugs with lower strengths or they may be traditional herbal remedies which have not received FDA approval. An emergency situation when you don’t have access to your primary medication and standard modern medical care is not the time that you want to be testing these alternatives for the first time. Buy some now, try them out in small dosages. Learn which folk remedies work for you and which don’t. Most won’t, but the few which do might save you a lot of money — or they might save your life.