With the cost of prescription drugs so high, everyone wants to learn how to save money on prescriptions. The cost of prescription drugs may have grown out of control, but there are still smart ways to save.
1. Use Generic Drugs When You Can
Brand name drugs are always the most expensive, so ask your doctor if it’s possible to switch to a generic version. In many cases, the generic is identical and will have the same effect but at a much lower cost. In fact, with prescription drug prices as high as they are, many health insurance companies require your local pharmacy to fill the prescription with a generic brand if possible.
However, it’s important that you not only compare prices and think about how to save money, but also that you get what you need to safely maintain your health. The generic version must have the same active ingredients, and you should have some assurance that what you’re taking is the real deal. Fake medications are big business in Asia, so ask your pharmacist or insurer where the drugs come from and if they’re certain the generic drugs you’re considering are safe.
2. Ask for a 90-Day Supply
Your doctor probably writes you a 30-day prescription by default, but many pharmacies will offer prescription discounts if you “buy in bulk.” Not only will you be saving money, but you’ll also save yourself the hassle of going for refills every month. Ask your doctor if a 90-day supply is right for your medications.
3. Compare Prices
While the drug companies may charge just one price, the individual pharmacies have varying costs above list price. Be sure to check around and find the best deal. You might even find that you’ll save most by buying some prescriptions at one pharmacy and others at a different one. If you find yourself doing that, though, talk to your favorite pharmacy about whether they will price-match for the benefit of having all your business.
4. Compare Health Insurance Companies
When the price increases on your medication start to get too steep, it may be time to consider a new health insurance company. While you may pay more in premiums for changing to a new plan, you might end up saving in the long run if the insurer or plan covers more of your prescription costs.
Just remember that covering prescription isn’t the only thing your insurance plan is all about. You don’t want to switch to a plan that covers more of your drug costs while forcing you to pay more out of pocket than you can afford for other aspects of healthcare.
5. Use Discount Cards and Cash
Many pharmacies provide discount cards that can be used towards the costs of your prescriptions as well as for things like tissues and shampoo. Other pharmacies may offer a lower cash price to avoid the credit card company fees. At the very least, it can’t hurt to ask.
6. Look for Coupons
Believe it or not, the drug companies and pharmacies often offer coupons, even on prescription drugs. Check out websites like GoodRx, where you can compare prices at nearby pharmacies and see the difference between brand name drugs and their generic counterparts.
Look also for coupons direct from the drug’s manufacturer. Pfizer and other big-name pharmaceutical companies offer discounts at times for those who need their drugs but genuinely can’t afford the costs.
7. Consider Mail Services
There are companies that will mail your medications right to you. You simply send them your prescription and the medications are shipped to your door. During a pandemic, this can be a great way to get your necessary meds without having to risk infection from all the sick people hanging around the pharmacy buying cold and cough syrup. In some cases, this will save you money, too; but be sure to do your research.
Believe it or not, it can help to ask for specifics and see if your pharmacist knows of a way to make things cheaper. They may be able to explain the prices or offer you coupons that can help. They might even know of alternative medications you could ask your doctor to consider or some short-term promotions from the manufacturer that might lower your costs.
There’s more than one way to save on the cost of prescription drugs, but these eight tips should be enough to get you started. You rely on your medications, yes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a deal. Stick with Aging Healthy today to learn more about how to save money on prescriptions and other tips for healthy and happy aging.