Tips For Saving on Prescriptions

By Bentley, George, PhD posted 09-10-2019 01:57


Ask your doctor for samples:

Sometimes, representatives from pharmaceutical companies give doctors free samples to encourage them to prescribe a certain medication. Your doctor may have some free samples of your medication in his or her office. It can't hurt to ask.

Use generics when possible:

The FDA requires that generics be bioequivalent to the corresponding brand-name drug. This means that they should be identical in safety and efficacy –- but they can cost half as much as brand-names. Why pay more for the same product?

Find out if your insurance covers it, and at which "tier":

Prescription benefits are often “tiered” so that patients must pay a higher co-pay for some medications and lower co-pays for others. Some drugs may not be covered at all, which means you would have to pay the full price. If you cannot afford the out-of-pocket costs for your medicine, you can:

  • Ask your health plan if there is another drug with a lower co-pay. If so, you can then ask your doctor if you can switch to the new medication instead.
  • If your prescription is not covered at all, and you cannot switch to a lower cost medication, ask your doctor to help you appeal your insurer’s decision to deny coverage.

Find out if pill-splitting is an option for you:

In some cases, you may be able to buy pills at double the dose and split them in half. However, you must get your doctor’s and pharmacist’s approval before trying this. People using time-released medications or those who require a very precise dose of medication should not try this.

Take advantage of virtual healthcare:

You can utilize a virtual healthcare system that can save up to 90% on prescription drugs and avoid you that annoying trip to the doctors office.  

Find out if you are eligible for any prescription drug assistance programs:

If you are indigent and have no prescription drug coverage, you may be able to obtain your medication directly from the manufacturer free of charge. Or, you may be eligible for a discount drug program like Together RxAccess, which offers savings of 25% to 40% on prescriptions. Find out if you are eligible for assistance by visiting the Partnership for Prescription Assistance site and filling out an application online.

Shop around:

You might find that Walgreens charges a different price for your medicine than Costco, so a few phone calls or some internet research could help you save. And don’t forget to check with Wal-Mart if you are filling a generic prescription, because many generics cost just $4 there. Other stores, like Publix, also offer discounted generics, so don’t be afraid to ask the pharmacist how much your prescription will cost before you buy.