Prescription drugs, especially for Americans, can be extremely expensive. In fact, according to a report by Scientific American, United States prices on drugs for the top 20 most popular medications are three times higher than what one would pay over the pond in the United Kingdom. And, it certainly does not look like these prices are about to drop anytime soon. However, there luckily is a way around paying inflated prices for prescription drugs, or, at least cutting down on the costs you pay.
But how? Read on to learn the top 5 tips for saving money on Prescription drugs.
1. Take Preventative Steps
The best way to cut down on your prescription drug costs? Save yourself from having to pay them in the first place. We realize this is easier said than done, however simple steps can be taken to prevent minor issues from turning into major ones. Even with the changing healthcare system, there are many services that can be taken advantage of such as mammograms, colonoscopies, and PAP smears at very low costs. Taking advantage of preventative services can save you from having to fork over money for prescriptions down the road.
2. Look at Your Formulary
Your formulary is the list of prescription drugs that your insurer covers. Being aware of what is and what isn’t covered can save you loads of money in the long run. For example, you may find that the copayment for two very similar drugs to treat blood pressure is vastly different simply because one is covered by your insurance and one is not. Before your doctor writes a prescription out, ask him or her for their top three recommendations and then check with your insurer about the copayment and see if any restrictions apply. And don’t worry about stepping on your doctor’s toes about this, most are happy to have you involved in the decision.
3. Shop Around
Just as you shop around for the best prices on home goods and clothing, so too should you be doing your due diligence to shop around for the best drug prices. This means you should be checking for affordable prescriptions in your supermarket pharmacy, retail stores, through mail order and online. You should also look into ordering prescriptions 30 to 90 days at a time, as this can also help cut down on the cost. Lastly, be sure you get all your drugs from the same pharmacy. Although it can be tempting to split it up to save a little extra, you want your pharmacist to be able to easily warn you about any dangerous side effects of mixing certain drugs.
4. Inquire About Generic and Pill Splitting
Another great money saving hack is to inquire with your physician about the generic version of your prescription. Oftentimes, the generic version contains the same ingredients at 80 percent of the cost. Also, check with your doctor to see if the pills you need come in double dosages that you can split in half. A lot of times, fewer pills with a stronger dose are cheaper than more pills with a weaker dose.
5. Ask for Samples
Lastly, before you commit to a month long prescription, ask your doctor if you can try the drug as a sample for a couple weeks first.
More often than not, they will be completely fine with this. And be sure to check out magazines and online coupon stores, as many offer the drug for a 30 day free trial.