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Do over-the-counter medications cost more in the hospital?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Anything a hospital can charge more for, they will, as they make tiny overall margins. So they charge higher prices on some low-cost items to make up for the service and greater inventory costs they incur. Thus, if a bear tends to do that in the woods…over-the-counter medications tend to cost more in the hospital than if you just bought them at a drugstore. However, the hospital isn’t just trying to gouge you for every last penny. In the hospital, even over-the-counter medications have to be cleared through the attending doctor, obtained from the pharmacy, given to you by the nursing staff, and entered into your medical records. It all adds up. Best bet -- bring ‘em in yourself and tell your doc so she can be sure the supplements that you want to take play well with the medications she wants to prescribe for you.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.