16 Ways You Can Save Money When You Buy Prescription Drugs and Medicine
Coupons, Discounts, and Free or Low-Cost Prescriptions
Would you like to save money when you buy prescription drugs and medicines? You can save at least half or more of your cost for medicines and put the money back in your pocket. It doesn't matter whether or not you have medical insurance, you can still save money. Most prescription drugs are high-priced to cover the cost of years of research. But with coupons, discounts, free or low-cost medicines and the help of your pharmacist and your doctor, you save money on prescription drugs.
Here you will discover 16 ways to really save money on prescription drugs.
- Save Money with Online Coupons for Prescription Drugs
Almost all pharmaceutical companies made coupons and discounts for prescription drugs available online at their websites. The link to coupons and price breaks is usually on the home page of the drug company. Your medicine can be free or low-cost.
- For asthma and COPD, you can find coupons online for prescription medicine at these web sites:
www.advair.com, www.asmanex.com, www.maxairautohalercoupon.com, www.mysymbicort.com, www.proairfa.com, www.proventilhfa.com, www.singulair.com and www.ventolinhfa.com
- For depression, find coupons for prescription medication at these web sites:
www.cymbalta.com, www.effexorxr.com, www.prestiq.com
- For diabetes, find patient assistance at Together Rx Access program and their web site www.togetherrxaccess.com
Find coupons for diabetes drugs at www.actos.com, www.avandia.com and www.onglyza.com
- For enlarged prostate in men, saw palmetto is an over-the-counter product for relief of symptoms. It is effective about 50% of the time. Talk to your doctor. Saw palmetto might replace the antiandrogen drugs you are taking.
- For GERD or acid reflux, you can find coupons for prescription PPIs online at these web sites: www.acidphex.com, www.dexilant.com, www.prevacid24HR.com www.prilosecotc.com and www.purplepill.com
- For high cholesterol, you can find help for uninsured patients and coupons online at www.astrazeneca-us.com, www.crestor.com, www.lipitor.com, www.pfizerhelpfulanswers.com, www.trilipix.com and www.zetia.com
- If You Have Medical Insurance, Use Prescription Drugs Covered by Your Insurance Plan
You can save money on prescription drugs and medicines by using the ones that are covered by the insurance company under your plan. Your insurance company has a list of preferred brand name drugs it will pay for. This list is called a formulary. Take a copy of the formulary with you to your doctor. Otherwise, your doctor cannot be sure what medicines your plan covers. When you use the prescription medicines covered by your insurance plan, you save money, sometimes as much as 50% to 70%. Ask your doctor if you can safely change from a non-preferred medicine to a prescription drug listed on the formulary.
- Use Prescription Drugs Only When You Need Them
Stop overusing prescription drugs. In particular, antibiotics are often prescribed and taken when they are not necessary. Your family doctor will tell you that you don't need antibiotics for a cold, because they don't help with a cold virus. Medical science has no cure for the common cold. The best solution for a cold is over-the-counter pain relief, rest and lots of fluids to drink. You'll save money when cut down on the use of unnecessary prescription drugs.
- Save Money with Coupons, Rebates and Free Samples of Prescription Drugs
When your doctor mentions prescription drugs, ask if there is a coupon, a rebate or a free sample for you. Pharmaceutical companies often provide these to the doctor to make their brand name medications more competitive. Coupons for prescription medications are available through your doctor, your pharmacist, newspapers, magazines and online.
- Generic Prescription Drugs Save You Money
If you are taking name brand prescription drugs, you'll save money with a general prescription medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if there is a generic medicine available to replace what you now take. You can easily save 70% to 80% of your cost. If a generic medicine is not available, ask about less expensive brand name drugs.
- Renew Your Prescription by Phone
You can usually renew a prescription for medicine by phoning your doctor's office, and save the cost of an office visit.
- Save Money with a Cash Payment Discount
If you do not have medical insurance coverage for your prescription drugs, and will pay the entire bill yourself, ask if your doctor offers a discount for cash payment at the time of service. You'll never know until you ask.
- Ask Your Pharmacy to Match the Lowest Price of Your Prescription Drug
Some pharmacies have a policy of price-matching on prescription drugs, and will lower their price to meet a competitor's price. You have to ask for this discount, and shop around to find the best price available.
- Transfer Your Drug Prescription to Get a Discount
Here's another way to save money on prescriptions drugs. Major pharmacies offer price incentives, discounts and coupons when you transfer your prescriptions to their store. You can transfer your prescriptions several times from store to store to save more money on medicine. My local pharmacy offers $40 coupons for groceries when you transfer a drug prescription.
- Save Money by Splitting Pills
Pill-splitting is another way to save money on prescription drugs. Prescription drugs are available in different strengths, but they often sell for the same price. This is called flat pricing. If you need 50 milligrams of your medicine every day, you can purchase the 100 milligram pill instead for the same price, and split it in half yourself at home. There are pill splitter devices available to help you cut your pills in half. Naturally some pills are not suitable for splitting. Pill splitting provides the opportunity to save 50% of the cost of prescription drugs. Check with your doctor for the high-dosage prescription.
- Use Prescription Medicine on the $4 Price List
Pharmacies usually have a list of generic prescription medicines that cost only $4 for a month's supply. You can also get a three-month supply of your medicine for $10. It pays to shop for the best buys.
- Don't Use Your Medical Insurance for Inexpensive Drugs
Even if you have medical insurance, don't use your insurance for low-priced prescription drugs. The insurance copay can be more than the actual price of low cost medicines. You save more money by paying out-of-pocket for these $4 medicines.
- Qualify for a Prescription Assistance Program
Pharmaceutical companies have patient assistance programs for low-income, uninsured people. Prescription drugs are provided free or at a low cost. You can qualify if your household annual income is under $44,100 for a family of four, under $29,140 for a family of two, and under $21,660 for an individual. You can find help and guidelines at the Partnership for Prescription Assistance by phone or online at www.pparx.org. The Partnership for Prescription Assistance is a nonprofit organization run by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. It helps uninsured or low-income consumers get access to public and private prescription assistance programs.
- Are You a Veteran of Military Service?
You may qualify for low-cost prescriptions through the Veterans Administration.
- Combo Prescription Drugs
Are you taking medication for more than one condition? There are combination prescription drugs available designed to replace two pills. The result is convenience and lower cost. For example, medication for cholesterol and high blood pressure is combined in Lipitor and Norvasc. Blood pressure medication can also combine your prescriptions for beta-blockers and diuretics. There are many other combo pills available that might save you money.
- Don't Ask for Advertised Brands of Prescription Drugs
Don't believe everything you hear in advertisements for prescription drugs. And don't ask for a particular brand drug from your doctor. Advertised brands and new-on-the-market brands of prescription drugs often cost more than older, tried-and-true medicines. Your doctor probably knows effective, low-cost alternatives you haven't heard about.
- Buy Prescription Drugs in Large Quantities
You save money when you buy groceries in bulk. It works the same way with prescription drugs. Buy your prescription drugs in volume. A 90-day supply of your medicine is likely to save you money compared to a 30-day supply, as much as 30%. If you are on long-term drug usage, this could result in substantial dollar savings over the year.
As always, you can save money on medical expenses and prescription drugs by maintaining good health and becoming an informed patient. As your doctor would probably tell you, you should lose weight, stop smoking, avoid alcoholic beverages, exercise regularly, and eat a healthy diet.
Note: The author of this article is not a physician. This information is provided for educational purposes only. This information is not intended to replace medical care and your doctor's advice.
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