Tucson, Arizona (NAPSI) - According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly half of all Americans take at least one prescription drug per month and up to 50 percent of chronically ill people stop taking their medication within the first year.

One of the most commonly cited reasons patients stop taking medications as prescribed is related to a desire to reduce health care costs. As baby boomers reach retirement age, they are expected to live longer on average than previous generations and will also face new health challenges and concerns, such as managing chronic health conditions, which can be overwhelmingly expensive.

With rising health costs and changing health care coverage weighing on the minds of families and baby boomers alike, here are some simple tips for families to save money while taking care of their health:

1. Try the store-brand versions of healthy products like vitamins. Store-brand supplements and remedies are formulated to deliver the same performance that shoppers expect from the national brands and are held to the same strict testing guidelines, all at more affordable prices.

2. Ask your pharmacist about generic prescription options. These medications offer the same active ingredients as brand-name medications at a lower cost, which can make a big difference when managing chronic conditions. Generic prescription medications are FDA approved and are safe and effective.

3. Keep taking your prescribed medications as directed, because taking medications irregularly can impact your overall health. To stay on track, talk openly with your pharmacist. It has been shown that regular consultations with a pharmacist can make patients twice as likely to take medications as prescribed, which can lower health care costs by thousands of dollars annually.

4. Look into pharmacy savings programs. For example, members of the new ExtraCare Pharmacy & Health Rewards™ program at CVS/pharmacy® receive ExtraBucks® Rewards when they refill prescriptions and take other health-related actions, such as getting flu shots, enrolling in online prescription management services, or signing up for prescription text message alerts. Enrolling is free and easy and can be done on the CVS/pharmacy website or in-store at the pharmacy counter.

For more information on the ExtraCare Pharmacy & Health Rewards program, visit the website at www.cvs.com/rxrewards or inquire at your local CVS/pharmacy.