It’s easy to save on prescriptions when you know your way around the discounts.
Are You Missing Out on These 7 Ways to Save on Prescription Drugs?
There was a time when many consumers’ health insurance picked up the cost of prescriptions after a small deductible. Today, however, plenty of people have insurance plans with deductibles so high that by the time they meet their plan’s deductible, they’ve already spent hundreds – maybe even thousands – of dollars on medication they need to stay healthy.
Nearly 1 in 4 Americans struggle to afford their prescriptions, causing many to take extreme measures such as splitting doses, not taking their medication or rationing prescription drugs in some other fashion, according to “The Real Price of Medications,” a report by the U.S. Public Interest Group (U.S. PIRG), a public advocacy and research organization.
Fortunately, with so many people struggling or unable to pay for their prescriptions, there are discounts on many medications available if you know where to find them.
Click or swipe to learn about 7 ways to save on prescription drugs.
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1. Ask about a generic equivalent
Before you fill a prescription for a brand name drug, ask the pharmacist if there is a generic equivalent, which is typically far less expensive. The U.S. PIRG report found that by switching to generic drugs, you may be able to save loads of money.
For example, U.S. PIRG’s research found that switching from branded Nexium to its generic version saved patients around $756 annually.
2. Sign up for a prescription discount card
Depending on the medication, you can save up to 80% with a prescription drug card such as GoodRx, WellRX or SingleCare. A prescription discount card isn’t a health insurance plan, but many consumers find that the discounts they receive with such cards allow them to pay less for certain medications than they would pay under their health insurance plan.
3. Comparison shop
Did you know that prices on medications vary widely across the U.S. and among pharmacies? U.S. PIRG researchers called 250 pharmacies across 11 states to ask about the price (for uninsured or underinsured patients) of medications used to treat asthma, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other conditions. Here’s what they found: Ridiculously huge price differences.
For example, the price of Advair Diskus Inhalers ranged from the lowest price of $12 to beyond the median price of $463, a difference of $451 per month. The lowest price for the generic equivalent of Lipitor, a drug used to treat high cholesterol, was only $7, but the median price for the drug among pharmacies surveyed was $113.
Before submitting a prescription, call local pharmacies or shop online to compare the price.
4. Sign up for pharmacy discount programs
Some drugstore chains offer free prescription discount programs. For example, when you sign up for Walgreens’ Prescription Savings Club, you can save up to 80% on thousands of medications, including discounts on pet prescriptions, compound medications, nebulizers and diabetic supplies whether you have health insurance or not.
When you join Kroger’s Rx Savings Club, you can save up to 85% on prescriptions, getting more than 100 prescriptions for free and paying only $3 or $6 on many others.
5. Check on drug manufacturer assistance programs
Some pharmaceutical manufacturers offer patient assistance programs that provide financial assistance and sometimes even free medication to people who have a low income or are underinsured and can’t afford their prescriptions. To find out if you qualify, contact the drug manufacturer directly.
6. Give smaller pharmacies a shot
Eight of the 12 drugs surveyed by U.S. PIRG researchers were between 8% and a whopping 840% higher in cost at most large pharmacies compared with smaller, independent pharmacies.
7. Ask the pharmacist about a discount coupon
When the pharmacist quotes the price on a medication, ask if there is a lower price or a discount coupon available to lower the cost. Pharmacy staffers are often familiar with the best discount cards and coupons for various medications and can look up the information quickly.
Published by Debt.com, LLC