How to Save On Prescription Medications
The rising cost of prescription drugs and health care is leaving many Americans struggling to make ends meet. Even if you have health insurance, you might find yourself struggling to cover your prescription costs.
Many people are forced to cut back on grocery spending, postpone paying bills, or even take a second job to help pay for their medications. Some even resort to leaving their prescription unfilled or skipping doses. Yet for many, their medications are crucial in treating a serious medical condition - treatment that they cannot go without.
Fortunately, there are many ways to help save money on your medications. We’ll explore several of those options in this article.
Split larger dose pills
One way to save on your prescriptions is by asking your doctor if your medication is available in a larger dose. It’s often possible to split larger doses into smaller doses. For example, if you’re prescribed 5mg of a medication, it may be possible to split larger 10mg pills in half.
While this is not always the case, larger doses can cost less per milligram than smaller doses. Similar to how a larger bottle of soda costs less per ounce than a smaller bottle.
However, certain drugs, like the ones that come in capsules or are designed to release over time, cannot be split. Be sure to always double check that it’s safe with your doctor or pharmacist before trying to split any prescription.
Generic drugs may be available in place of many brand name ones. In general, brand name drugs cost much more than generics. Yet, generics contain the same active ingredients and are FDA tested to be as effective as brand name medications.
While your medication might not have a generic alternative, another option is switching to a different drug altogether. Sometimes, doctors might prescribe newer drugs because they require less frequent testing or follow-up appointments. In some cases, older drugs that treat the same condition are available, and at a lower cost.
In general, it’s often a good idea to talk with your doctor about generic or other alternative options for your prescriptions.
Switch to a 90-day supply
Just like with larger doses, prescription costs can vary depending on the supply. In some cases, it might cost less for a 90-day supply rather than a 30-day supply. This typically works best for drugs that you take for a chronic condition, like diabetes or acid reflux.
One reason for this is you’re only responsible for a single copayment as opposed to three over the same period of time. Even if you’re uninsured, a 90-day supply can cost less. Check with your pharmacist to see if switching to a 90-day supply can save you money.
Use a patient assistance program
There are many patient assistance programs (PAPs) available. Some discount plans are provided directly by drug manufacturers. Other programs are made available by your state or local government.
If you’re currently covered by Medicare, you can also apply for Medicare’s Extra Help program. In other cases, it might be best to reach out directly to the manufacturer of your medication.
Another potential savings program might come from your local pharmacy. Check with your pharmacist to see if they offer their own assistance program.
One of the best places to begin searching is by asking your doctor. They may know of applicable PAPs, have available manufacturers’ coupons, or know of additional resources and programs that can help you save on your prescriptions.
Compare prices between pharmacies
You might be surprised to learn that prices vary from pharmacy to pharmacy, sometimes even within the same brand. You might be even more surprised to discover big chain pharmacies, like CVS or Walgreens, aren’t always the cheapest option, either. In fact, a Consumer Reports study found that smaller, independent pharmacies were among some of the lowest-priced options.
That’s why, whether you are insured or uninsured, you should always shop around to compare prices. Of course, none of us has the time to call up every single pharmacy in town to see who is the cheapest. Fortunately, there are online drug price comparison tools to help make this process much easier.
Apply for a prescription discount card
Prescription discount cards are another way to save. Discount cards are often accepted by thousands of participating pharmacies and can help you save as much as 80% on your prescriptions. They’re simple to use, too.
Just bring your pharmacy discount card or app and show it to the pharmacist at the counter. They’ll be able to instantly apply any coupon discounts to the retail price.
America’s Pharmacy offers a prescription discount card designed to help save people as much as 80% on their drug costs - all while being easy to use! Learn more about how America’s Pharmacy can help you save or sign up for your free discount card, today.