Americans typically spend at least $1,200 on prescription drugs each year.
Drug prices in the US keep escalating, which makes the pharmaceutical industry one of the most profitable in the country. Unfortunately, most Americans can’t keep up with the high cost of prescription drugs.
The hiking price of drugs has made some people ration their healthcare. It isn’t surprising for individuals to consider alternative treatment or take a lower dose when they find the prescribed drugs unaffordable. This move is potentially precarious.
The good news is that you can save money on prescriptions through several approaches. Keep reading to know how you can get your prescription drugs without breaking a bank.
1. Consider Generic Drugs
Contrary to common misconception, generic drugs are equally effective as the brand name drugs.
The generic drugs have similar active ingredients. However, some drugs are not available generically.
After pharmaceutical companies create a new drug, U.S. FDA allows them to have the patent for a few years. Only after the patent expires can other drugmakers start making and releasing their generic versions.
When you’re at the healthcare facility, request your doctor to prescribe for you generics. It will save you the hassle of trying to explain to the pharmacist why you want to get a drug that’s not on the prescription list. Ultimately, you are likely to spend up to 80% less than the brand name drugs.
Some of the popular classes for generic drugs include antihistamines, cholesterol-lowering statins, medications for type 2 diabetes, and heartburn medications.
Your doctor is in a good position to tell you if there’s an available generic.
Again, don’t worry, as generic medications and their brand name counterparts have the same effectiveness and safety standards as required by the FDA. You enjoy the same prescription medicine but at a much lower cost.
2. Price Shopping
Take your time to compare prices before settling on a particular pharmacy.
You won’t believe how the costs in different pharmacies vary. Considering that there are no price tags on the drugs, most pharmacists can rip off buyers.
Recently, the Trump administration announced a new rule that necessitates the pharmaceutical industry to indicate the cost of prescription medicine in their TV commercials.
While this basic information can help consumers when they’re shopping for drugs, it doesn’t change the high cost of these drugs. As such, you might need to shop for prices.
Large chain pharmacies in high-end streets or neighborhoods tend to have higher prices than most small pharmacies. You can get considerable discounts in these independent pharmacies without necessarily being a club member. If you don’t have insurance, shopping around can save you a great deal.
You can check different pharmacies online to see their price range. Read more now to know how you can save on prescriptions when you buy at CanDrugstore. You don’t have to feel limited to your local pharmacist.
3. Find Out More on Your Medication Copays
If you want to save money on prescriptions, you need to find out more about your co-insurance.
You can search on the company’s website, ‘tier copay’ or better still, call to know your plan’s tiers. Prescription drugs have varying copay tiers.
Generic copays can be either $10, $15, or in some cases, $25, making up the first tier. Brand names have copays of either $35, $50, or $100. Most insurers go for a drug class that allows them to get the drugs at affordable rates.
Insurance companies have listed the formularies on their site. If the information is not clear, you can inquire through a call or have a pharmacist guide you on what drugs your copay can get you.
The pharmacist can further suggest equally effective medications if you find the prescription unaffordable.
4. Patient Assistance Programs
When you search patient assistance programs on Google, you’ll get several results. Manufacturers are increasingly offering support to people who are unable to afford prescribed drugs.
The programs are either from umbrella groups working with the company or the corporation itself.
Some of the non-profit organizations offering assistance in prescription drugs include the Partnership for Prescription Assistance and Needy Meds.
The local government and state also provide help through programs like Medicare Extra Help and state assistance programs.
With these options available, you don’t have to underdose or do away with the prescription if it’s beyond your financial ability.
If you want this kind of assistance, you have to be aggressive. Identify the programs that resonate with your needs and make a call. You’d be surprised at how much you will save through these assistance programs.
5. Ask for Discounts
Within the first half of 2019, about 3,400 drugs had increased their prices, which was 17% from 2018.
Many patients wonder how to save money on prescription drugs when there are no clearly indicated discounts on drugs.
When you go to a pharmacy, ask for discounts as most of them have in-house discounts on several prescription drugs.
Online coupon codes can give you several deals that will help you save on prescription drugs. Once you get the code, you can enter it when shopping for your medications in indicated stores.
Some pharmacies don’t accept the discount coupons for some drugs; it is advisable to call before driving to the store.
GoodRx.com is a great place to start if you want discount cards. Through the site, participating pharmacies and the company make arrangements on how to cut the prices. However, you might need to compare prices when paying with cash or through discount cards as some deals are just marketing gimmicks.
6. Save Money on Prescriptions Through Large Supplies
People who have chronic conditions such as depression, type 2 diabetes, hypothyroidism, or high blood pressure require daily medication.
If you’re in this category, having a 90-day prescription as opposed to a monthly prescription can save you some dollars. Buying in bulk is often cheaper than three separate prescriptions.
What’s more, you’ll only need one copay if you consider the 90-day prescription. As a result, you’ll end up saving about $80 each year if you are eligible for $10 copay. This option is ideal once your physician confirms that the dosage is accurate.
7. Request for money-saving alternatives
Aside from asking your doctor for generic drugs, you may also ask your doctor for other alternative medications that have similar functions and effectiveness but are relatively less expensive. Remember, communication is the key. Doctors don’t always know your financial situation and aren’t always aware of the price they initially prescribe. So, be honest with your doctor if you struggle to afford your medications. That way, they can consider other possible drugs and make some recommendations.
8. Ask for samples
You may also ask your doctor if they have the ability to pass along complimentary samples of any new medication they have prescribed. Often, they have full-size samples, particularly for maintenance medications like blood pressure drugs and asthma inhalers. Such samples allow you to test new drug products without committing and paying hefty cost upfront.
9. Re-evaluate your medication needs
If you’re taking a specific medication for a long period of time, you must consult your doctor to re-evaluate your medication needs. Perhaps, your doctor can see signs of improvement and just prescribe a lower dosage or remove the drug completely in exchange for you adopting some healthy changes in lifestyle and diet.
A common mistake that many patients commit is going for automatic refills of a prescription drug that’s meant to be taken for only a short period of time. Avoid such a scenario and prevent paying extra costs by speaking with your doctor.
10. Only purchase trustworthy and reliable prescription drugs
Though it can be tempting to buy super low-priced medications from foreign countries and different sites, you should not do so, as it can only cost you to spend more money in the long run and put your health in peril. A saving of only a few dollars is nothing if you receive and suffer from a fake drug, expired pill, or wrong formulation. Only purchase trustworthy and reliable prescription drugs approved by the FDA.
Most Patients Hope To Save Money on Prescriptions
Getting quality healthcare in the US remains a dream for many people. The surging cost of drugs has prompted patients to look for alternative ways to save money on prescriptions. With options such as generic drugs, assistance programs, copays, and discounts, some Americans can afford drugs that seemed out of reach.
While at it, it is vital to ensure that you get medications from trustworthy and reliable providers. You might save some bucks but end up spending more trying to restore your health.
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