Saving Money on Prescriptions: 7 Ways to Cut the Costs of Your Meds

Estimated Monthly Savings: $75

Prescription drugs are expensive — with or without health insurance. However, you don’t need to blindly accept a high price tag. There are ways to drive down the cost of your medicine. Here are seven tips for saving money on prescriptions.

  • Talk to your physician and pharmacist. Remember, it’s OK to ask for help. In fact, it’s a great place to start. Your physician can suggest cheaper, but equally effective alternatives by brand or dose, while your pharmacist can provide a discount or identify an assistance program you’re eligible for, among other things.
  • Go generic. Per the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, a generic drug costs, on average, 80% to 85% less than its brand-name counterpart. Plus, research shows they’re generally as effective as the original. The FDA maintains strict standards when it comes to approving generic drugs, but if you’re wary of foregoing a brand-name medicine, again, talk to your physician. Chances are, they’ll assuage your fears.
  • Ask your doctor for samples. This request can prove particularly helpful if you’re trying to determine whether a brand-name prescription works better for you — or if the generic hasn’t hit the market yet.
  • Comparison-shop. Believe it or not, prescription drug prices vary widely from pharmacy to pharmacy, so before you decide where to take your business, do a little research. Several websites and apps aggregate how many popular chains charge for certain drugs to help you find the best deal.
  • Use a preferred pharmacy. Some health insurance providers have “preferred” chains that will charge patients a lower co-pay on certain medications. Call your insurer directly to inquire what places and prescriptions are eligible.
  • Search for coupons. There’s a good chance you’ll find a coupon or code online that can significantly lower a prescription’s price. In fact, the aforementioned websites and apps that help you comparison-shop also often flag manufacturer’s coupons. Those coupons sometimes appear on the drug company’s website as well.
  • Order a 90-day supply. Yes, buying in bulk can save you on medication, too. A 90-day supply of pills often costs less than the standard 30-day supply, particularly when you’re shopping at a community pharmacy or looking into mail-order prescriptions. Just be sure to vet any service you’re thinking of using thoroughly before ordering pills online. There are certainly untrustworthy vendors out there.

You can find more ways to save on your monthly expenses by visiting our blog.