Published: May 11, 2010 12:11 PM EDT

We have five money saving questions to ask your doctor before he writes you a prescription.

This comes from health.com:

1. Are there any lifestyle changes I can try before starting a drug regimen?

2. Can I try the least expensive option first?

3. Can I afford the medication long term?

4. Should I take the free samples?

5. Can I talk to my pharmacist to figure out the least expensive option?

A recent study at the University of Chicago Medical Center found that patients who received samples had significantly higher prescription costs than patients who didn't.

Health.com says that's because samples will always be the newest and most expensive brand name drugs, and after the free samples run out, you're more likely to continue buying that brand.

You're better off getting a cheaper generic prescription if possible.

A pharmacist can inform you of the most affordable choices.