Medications can be expensive and unfortunately a lot people these days are going without. According to the Huffington Post, “Studies show roughly a quarter of patients don’t take medicines they need because they cannot afford them.” This is a startling statement considering if people are not taking the medications they need now, they will be in a world of hurt (and dealing with crazy expensive health insurance) down the road. So I have decided to track down the 16 best ways to save money on your prescription costs.
1. For starters, when a doctor is about to write a prescription, jump in with key questions:
- Are free samples available?
- Is the drug is generally covered by insurance plans?
- Is there a cheaper drug that will work as well?
- Is there a generic version?
2. Ask your doctor about pill-splitting:
Pill splitting is based on the fact that many pills cost about the same even if they contain twice as much medication. An 80 mg pill is often close in price to a pill with 40 mg of the same drug. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if your medication is safe for pill splitting. If so, ask your doctor to prescribe twice the dosage you really need, so you can split your pills in half.
Be aware, many pills are not safe to split, including time-released drugs, coated pills, and capsules. Make sure to ask your pharmacist whether it’s safe to split your pills.
3. Call all your local pharmacies and see who has the lowest prices on your medications. The money you saved maybe worth splitting up your prescriptions at two different pharmacies. If you take this route, it’s best to ask your doctor to write your prescriptions on different pieces of paper so you can get them filled individually.
4. Ask your pharmacist about in-store promotions to fill prescriptions. Sometimes stores will offer a gift card in return for filling prescriptions or a set amount off the price off the original price.
5. Check your memberships like AARP and AAA that offer prescription discounts to their members.
5. Prices at pharmacies are fluid and you can negotiate with your pharmacist. If one pharmacy has the best prices in town on all but one of the medications you’re taking, let the pharmacist know and see if she can give you a discount on that one drug. They want you as a patient and negotiating is a great way to build a relationship with them.
6. A patient assistance program may be able to help lower your out of pocket costs. You can look up patient assistance programs on the NeedyMeds web site, which provides information on almost 6,000 programs. They generally have income limits and other eligibility rules, but some are fairly generous.
7. Many pharmaceutical companies have programs that provide their drugs at deep discounts or even free for people in need. If you have a prescription for a high-cost drug, check out the company’s web site to see if they offer assistance.
9. Many government-subsidized health clinics provide prescriptions for free or at a discount based on the patient’s income.
10. Several national discount stores, including Target, Kmart and Walmart, as well as large grocery chains, offer hundreds of widely used generic drugs for just $4 to $10 a month.
11. If you’re insured, don’t assume your prescription plan offers the best price. Some high-volume discounters, such as Costco, offer great deals for cash-paying customers, particularly on generic drugs.
12. HealthWarehouse holds costs down by getting volume discounts directly from manufacturers. It sells about 3,500 drugs for people as well as pets, including refrigerated medicines. On the third Friday of each month – it offers a free prescription worth up to $500 to new customers or patients submitting a new prescription.
13. Use Coupons! Flip through magazines or go online to find coupons for the drugs you’re taking. A couple good coupon sites are Optimizerx.com and InternetDrugCoupons.com. Manufacturers often will offer a free 30-day trial or a coupon for a discount on the purchase of the drug. Sometimes, your doctor or pharmacist will have coupons available.
14. Scores of discount cards are available online, generally for free. Most are good for a variety of medicines, including generic drugs.
I like this Community Assistance Program card that saves the card holder an average 15% on brand name medications, and 55% on generic medications. I used it and received 50% off my antibiotics! My friends and family have also used this card and received nice discounts on their medications too. This card requires no personal information and is accepted at over 80% of pharmacies in the US and its territories, including Puerto Rico. Anyone can use the CAP card, regardless of age or income. It can be used in conjunction with your insurance card or other prescription discount cards.
Simply print the card below and present to the pharmacists at the time of purchase. No registration required.
15. Once you’ve found the best deals for your medicines, don’t assume you’re set for good. If prices for your drugs rise down the road, do your homework again.
16. Maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, both of which are linked to obesity, require a lifelong commitment to prescription medications to manage them. By keeping fit and healthy, you may be able to minimize your risk of getting sick and reduce your medications all together. Remember the goal is a happy, healthy you not a lifetime consumer of medication.
Do you have any tip that we missed? Did we save you money? Did our tips work? Let us know by commenting in the box below! I’m sure there are tons of people who need this information so feel free to pass this on to friends and family!