Can I take someone's meds to save money?

To Fr. Serpa:

For several years now, I have been prescribed antidepressants, which were usually covered by my insurance, with the exception of the copay. About a year ago, I quit my full time job and lost my insurance. In order to save money, I have been taking the same medication from my friend’s mother, who gets it free (she is on Medicaid) but refuses to take it. My friend said that if I don’t take the medication, her mother will fill the prescription anyway and throw it away later. Still, I’m wondering if what I’m doing is wrong. I don’t have a lot of money, but I can afford to pay full-price for the meds if I have to. Please let me know what you think, I trust your judgment.

Lisa.

Dear Lisa,

There isn’t anything wrong with taking medication that would only be thrown away.

But I’m not quite sure why your friend’s mother would want to fill a prescription only to throw it away. That doesn’t sound right. If she is getting the medication to give to you, then that is wrong.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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