In the United States, medications can be prohibitively and notoriously expensive. General capitalistic forces, lack of price regulation, insurance red tape, patents, and other factors contribute to sky-high prices for many prescription drugs.
As a result, many are struggling to afford needed medication due to high costs. Some people choose to live with pain rather than pay exorbitant prices; others go without food or transportation to afford their meds.
Sure, prescription medication expenses can be astounding and overwhelming. But the good news is that there are ways to save money on prescriptions. We’ve put together five tried-and-true strategies that have been shown to help people save money on prescriptions.
Explore Discount Programs
Many discount programs, apps, cards, and websites are available to help consumers get the most affordable prices for their prescriptions, like the BuzzRX App. These resources are ideal if you don’t have insurance or if your insurance doesn’t cover all of your medications.
They offer or provide free coupons that can save you at least 80% off the cost of your medication. However, note that not all programs offer the same discounts. Hence, it’s crucial to do your due diligence before using any of these. Shop around and look at various websites to find significant discounts on prescription drugs.
One website or app may be able to give you a 10% discount, but another might be able to give you 50%. Finding the best one for your needs is very important. Some require membership fees or an initial purchase, but they often have deals that make it worth the price, such as $10 monthly memberships with a $100 coupon included each month.
It’s essential to explore all options to use the cheapest one while still getting significant savings on prescription drugs.
Look for Generics
Generic medications essentially have the same active ingredients or substances as brand-name medications. That means both types of medication are equally effective for treating your medical condition and will cause no difference in side effects or adverse reactions.
The only real difference is that generics are cheaper than name brands. Brand-name medications are usually more expensive because of the lengthy process of creating them, including paying for all their legal fees, research, development, marketing expenses, etc. So manufacturers charge more to recover these costs and to make a profit.
But before you switch to generics, ask your doctor first. There might be instances where generic drugs are not as effective as the original medicine and, therefore, can’t be substituted. Your physician can help determine if this is true for you and advise accordingly.
Buy in Bulk
Another way to save on prescription drugs is to buy them in bulk. For example, instead of buying a 30-day supply of your medications, you could purchase a 90-day supply for a lower price. It can add up to huge savings over time.
For example, at CVS, the price of three 30-day generic medication refills could cost $10 each, yielding to $30. However, the same medication suitable for ninety days would only cost $15. See, the savings here are nearly 50%! Don’t forget to tell your doctor to prescribe you a 90-day supply.
Use Your FSA, HRA, or HSA
Your FSA, HRA, or HSA can help you pay for your prescriptions. These accounts allow you to set aside money or cash before taxes. Then, you can use those tax-free funds to pay for eligible expenses like prescription drugs.
Moreover, anything you pay for your prescriptions out-of-pocket, like copays and deductibles, is reimbursable with money from your FSA, HRA, and HSA. So, you can save whatever taxes you would have paid on the money.
Go Directly to the Drug Manufacturer
If you prefer to use a brand-name drug or if the prescription drug you need is a brand-name without a generic alternative, you can get discounts if you go directly to the drug manufacturer. However, there are specific criteria that you need to meet.
For example, if you’re an uninsured patient with a household income of less than $100,000 per year, you may qualify for savings programs the drug manufacturers offer. These savings programs include copay assistance cards and coupons that could save up to 50% off your out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs.
Also, you may need to meet geographic requirements to qualify for discounts. Moreover, while manufacturer discount programs can provide huge savings, you might still need to pay more than what you would pay for generic drugs.
There are plenty of ways to save money on prescription drugs. You can always ask your doctor for a lower-cost medication or generic version, compare prices online, use coupons, and buy them in bulk when possible. Consider trying any of these options, and don’t let the high prices be the reason why you skip out on essential medications.