Drug costs have risen nearly 12% since 2017, making efforts to securing affordable medication and prescriptions even more important. Unfortunately, there are many people that are faced with a difficult monthly choice of either paying for their prescriptions or paying for other necessities such as food or housing.
Having to choose between needed medications and affording living expenses can be dangerous and costly. Fortunately, there are some steps that can be taken to help make medication purchases more affordable. Below is a helpful guide to finding affordable medications
If you don’t have insurance or your medications aren’t on a preset copay, don’t skip the step of price comparison shopping. What one pharmacy has for one price, another down the road may have the same prescription for 15% less. You can compare pricing easily online at sites such as GoodRX.
Sign Up for an RX Savings Card
Signing up for a discount RX card can really come in handy if you don’t have insurance, or if your insurance doesn’t have a good prescription drug plan. Most RX savings cards are free and take just a quick online sign up to take advantage of discounts. Try GoodRX or WebMDx and you could save up to 80% on your next refill.
Ask Your Pharmacist
When the prescription cost seems high, don’t shy away from asking your pharmacist if there are any cheaper alternatives or options for you to save money. When prescribing, often your doctor is not aware of all options available, which is where your pharmacist’s knowledge of generic drug options and alternatives can be helpful. When you involve your pharmacist, they may be able to consult with and work with your doctor to come up with a medication option that works better within your budget and fulfills your health needs.
With many medications, your doctor may have some free samples they can provide to you, so don’t be scared to ask! You can also check the website for the drug manufacturer for sample coupons they may have available.
Get Prescription Assistance
For lower-income patients or those that have higher prescription costs that they are having trouble affording, it can be helpful to check into possible prescription assistance. There are some programs in place that can help make medications more affordable or even help cover the costs of prescriptions. WebMD has a comprehensive list of assistance programs you can check into here.
Shop Outside of Your Insurance
It’s an odd thing to consider when you have insurance coverage and a prescription plan, but sometimes purchasing your medications outside of your insurance is cheaper. The next time you go in for a refill, or if you have a new medication that’s been prescribed, ask your pharmacist for the cost to purchase outside of your insurance - you may find it’s cheaper than your copay!
Warehouse Membership Discounts
One of the many savings perks of having a membership to a warehouse store, such as Costco or Sam’s Club, is the discounts you can get by purchasing your medications there. It’s usually worthwhile to check pricing with your club membership first before purchasing at any other pharmacy.
Utilize an Online Pharmacy
If you have regular monthly prescriptions, using an online pharmacy to fill your prescriptions can not only save you money but also valuable time with your prescriptions being delivered directly to your door. It’s important to only use accredited, safe, and legitimate online pharmacies, however; be sure to thoroughly check out any company you are considering before signing up. You can check a company’s validity and accreditation with the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) here.