3 Tips to Help You Save on Prescription Medications

The United States spends almost $1,000 per person each year on prescription drugs, which is more money than any other developed nation. As the demand for prescription medications rise, so do the costs. And because so many Americans can’t afford brand-name pharmaceuticals, there is significant reliance on the generic versions of medications, which has led to the U.S. also being the highest consumer of generic drugs among the developed nations.

What can you do to save money on prescription drugs?

Discuss alternatives to prescription medicine with your doctor. When prescribed a medication, you should check coverage on your insurance plan’s formulary. If your physician prescribes a brand-name drug that requires a high co-payment, talk to him or her about finding a less expensive brand or a generic equivalent that is covered on your plan.

You can also find out if there is an over-the-counter medication that can be used in lieu of a prescription variation. Over the last decade, many prescription drugs have become available over the counter and you may be able to purchase prescription-strength medications at a lower price than your co-pay would require. Be sure to discuss prices with your pharmacist as well.

Compare pharmacies. Generally, retail chains that are open seven days a week and offer services such as automatic refills, telephonic refill reminders and drive-through windows are often more expensive than the pharmacies operated at discount warehouse club stores, discount retailers and supermarkets. The mark-up on medications subsidizes the additional services.

Once you make your decision, stick with it.  Switching pharmacies on a regular basis can lead to medication mismanagement, especially if you have a chronic condition that requires monthly refills. Although your primary care physician can help manage your medications and potential drug interactions, pharmacy computer systems retain a record of your prescription history allowing your pharmacist to intervene when necessary. 

Mail-order and online pharmacy services are convenient alternatives that are usually less expensive. You can weed out untrustworthy services by verifying the following:
  • The online pharmacy/company requires prescriptions.
  • The company is headquartered in the United States, licensed by the state’s board of pharmacy and verified by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.
  • Pharmacists are available online or by phone to answer your questions.
Finally, ask for the cash price before filling a prescription. Sometimes paying full price can be cheaper than your co-payment. Be sure to discuss prices with your pharmacist.

Use medications as directed. It’s estimated that 50 percent of adult Americans taking medication fail to follow the directions. This can cause all sorts of problems ranging from poor efficacy to additional health issues that require more medication and additional costs.

Be sure to save your medication bottles and boxes so you always have the instructions and can discuss concerns with your doctors and/or pharmacist. Read more about how better use of medicine could save billions on the MDVIP medical forum.
6 Comments
Ellie
Oct 28th, 2016
There is no "medfisher.com" website at this time.
Vicki Smith CPhT
Aug 10th, 2015
I was interested in the comment by Kelsey. I am a Certified Pharmacy Technician, and I work with patients who sometimes can’t really afford their deductible. (Or don’t have insurance at all). We have used the medfisher.com website for our patients as well, and in many cases it has given better pricing than they would have gotten.
kelsey
Aug 10th, 2015
From experience of working in a pharmacy, I know medications can be very expensive.
This website https://medfisher.com that is really helpful and easy to use. You just have to type in your medication and your zip code and it searches for savings cards and compares pharmacy prices for you! Check it out!! Again the website is www.medfisher.com
cindy
Jul 10th, 2015
After discussing with my physician, I started taking generic medications and by this I could save a lot.
I get the medications online since they are affordable. I get them at InternationalDrugMart, this is a best place to get medicines at affordable price.
Donald Walters
Oct 16th, 2014
You missed a big one! Most major name-brand drug companies offer some kind of discount card that can save you big bucks. Just go to their websites and look for ways to save.
Everette Darby
Oct 16th, 2014
Don't always assume the big pharmacies are the cheapest. Those prices are set by upper management and are made to cover all costs and make a profit. Some drugs are really cheap, but they may come back and bite you on a less used drug, you assume they are cheap on it too, and they may not be. Check your local independents, they buy drugs from wholesalers just like the chains. Their prices are often as cheap or cheaper than the Walmarts and Krogers of the world. Also, the pharmacist is often the owner, and they have the power to lower a price in a special situation or for someone who is greatly in need. They will also remember you, and become a loyal partner in your total healthcare.
1 Reply
MDVIP
Oct 23rd, 2014
Greetings Everette and Donald,

Thank you so much for replying and contributing to the conversation about how to save on prescription medications. We appreciate your willingness to share your insightful experiences with saving on prescriptions. Your additional information will prove to be valuable for your more than 200,000 fellow MDVIP members.

In good health,
MDVIP

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