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How to save money on prescription drugs

How To Save Money on Prescription Drugs

Updated on April 1, 2022

 Personal Finance

A recent poll from Consumer Reports shows that nearly a third of Americans has experienced a spike in prescription drug costs over the last 12 months. Some people are reporting that they are now paying more than $100 a month for their prescription drugs. This can be especially difficult for people with low or fixed income. According to the survey, one out of four people where unable to pay for their prescriptions and stopped filling them, one in five skipped doses and 7% even said they missed a mortgage payment. We have compiled a list of creative ways to save money on prescription drugs.

Shop Around

Even with a standard insurance co-pay you actually can still benefit from shopping around. Because a drug price isn’t always fixed, sometimes what you pay out of pocket is less than your insurance co-pay. And different pharmacies can charge different things for the same drug.

Skip the Chains

Chain pharmacies often set their prices intentionally high so that they are not undercut by the insurance companies later. Most of their revenue comes from third parties like insurance companies and setting a high price tag means they will get reimbursed the full amount they are due.

Fill at Costco

Costco prices their products as low as they can to still make a profit. Generally, across the country, they have the lowest costs for any walk-in pharmacy. The biggest feature to Costco’s money saving technique is filling prescriptions at a facility and shipping them in rather than filling them to order. You also don’t have to be a member to use their pharmacy.

Support Independent Pharmacies

In a world filled with CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid it's hard to remember that independent pharmacies are around, but they are and often their prices are lower than the chain drug stores. This isn’t always true but it is worth including them while you shop around, because you may have better luck asking for a lower price since they have more flexibility to change their prices without interfering with corporate policies.

Buy Generic

When shopping around for different pharmacies make sure you ask for the lowest price and if there is a generic brand. In many cases there are generic options available out-of-pocket for as low as $5 for a month supply or $10 for a 3 months supply. A lot of chain pharmacies will process your prescription through your insurance unless you ask them not to, so make sure you speak up

RX Clubs

A lot of pharmacies and insurance companies offer prescriptions clubs. Ask at your pharmacy what is available and check with your insurance company as well. Check up on these regularly because the discounts and offers available can change.

Buy in Bulk

If you have a regular drug that you take long term it can be cost effective to buy a 90-day prescription. Even if it doesn’t cost you any less it will save you time, and at the very lease you will pay one co-pay vs. three.

Investigate Online

There are some online resources that will give you an idea of what a drug is supposed to cost. You can then enter pharmacy negotiations with all the information in place to get the lowest price. You can also fill prescriptions online. Though make sure you carefully research your online pharmacy. They should clearly state that they operate within the US and they should also have the VIPPS or Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Site logo displayed.

Confide in Your Doctor

It can be hard to admit when you're in financial trouble. Hardly anyone of us wants to admit that we can’t afford something, but letting your doctor know that the regular medication she or he is prescribing is too expensive could be your first step in finding a less expensive alternative. Talk to your doctor, they want you to get well and want to help you find the best ways to do it.

Preventative Care

Among all the possibilities to save money after you get the prescription, we want to say just one thing about the benefits of preventative care. Be serious about your health and you may be able to prevent a number or serious recurring illnesses. With preventative care you can also catch an issue early on and hopefully prevent the need for ongoing treatment. We could hardly write an article about how to save money without touching on all the bad things that people do to save money. In case if you need bad credit loans then visits your nearest cash loans locations. Below are some money saving options that you should NOT do.

DO NOT Use a Friend or Relative’s Prescriptions

You should never take a prescription that hasn't be written for you personally. Not only is it illegal but you may be taking the wrong dose, the wrong brand or it may be an expired pill. Some drugs will react with other things you are taking.

DO NOT Buy Prescription from Unverified Online Sources

Counterfeit prescription drugs are a global business that gets bigger every year. Because of the size and unregulated scope of the internet, illegal groups posing as legitimate pharmacies can all counterfeit and sell expired drugs or even send you completely the wrong kind of drug. Always thoroughly investigate any online pharmacy. The cheapest price may be indicative of nefarious intentions.

DO NOT Substitute Natural or Herbal Remedies

Some herbal or natural remedies do have purpose and use for certain things, but do not substitute a natural remedy where your doctor has directed you to get a prescription. There are a lot of things that natural remedies cannot do that modern medicine can. Natural, herbal remedies are not regulated the same way medications are, you could potentially be putting yourself or your family at risk.

DO NOT Insist on Name Brands

Ads on TV and in magazines and on the radio are directed toward each one of us as individuals to entice us to purchase a product. In the pharmaceutical world, the ads are geared at making us trust one brand name over another. There is usually a generic drug that will work just as well as its name brand counter part. Insisting on name brands can drive your prescription cost up considerably.

We all want to save money at every opportunity. Prescription drugs are no different. If we can shave a few bucks off the price of our medicine, we all know that frees up the funds to use for personal expenses (ie fun money), so the more we save, the more we have for ourselves. And if you find that you may be short on funds, come see us at our nearest cash loans places and find out if easy personal loans are right for you.

Photograph of author Joseph Priebe

Joseph Priebe

Joseph Priebe takes pride in assisting audiences with his articles to help them make sound financial decisions.

With over ten years of experience writing financial content his goal at CASH 1 has always been creating engaging and easy-to-digest information for anyone searching for immediate or long-term monetary solutions.

When Joseph is not writing about personal finance, you can find him photographing the Southwest United States with his 4x5 Graflex Crown Graphic camera. He is based in Phoenix, Arizona.