5 Ways to Save Money on Prescription Medications
Many women are looking for ways to save money on their prescription medications. Unfortunately, up to 45% of Americans have trouble paying for their prescriptions, and 26% of Americans simply do not fill prescriptions because they cannot afford it. It is important to know prices for prescription medications vary widely between pharmacies. The price you pay at your local pharmacy may be very different from the pharmacy that is right down the road. Even insured and uninsured patients can get a better price on prescriptions by using the following:
- Savings tips
- Pharmacy discounts
- Manufacturer discounts
1. Medication Discount Cards
While visiting the physician’s office, be on the lookout for medication discount cards. Medication discount cards allow you to purchase certain drugs for 15% to 40% off. Pharmaceutical representatives are often visiting the medical offices to help promote and save patients money on their prescription medications.
2. Cost Saving Medication Websites
GoodRx.com is a website that offers information on where a medication is located for the cheapest price. This website offers ways to become a smarter consumer when it comes to filling prescriptions. When utilizing this cost-saving website GoodRx.com, just simply put in the medication being prescribed along with your location to see a list of pharmacies in the area and their prices for the medication. GoodRx.com offers:
- An overview of the medication
- Side effects
- Savings tips for the consumer to view
3. Drug Manufacturer Websites
Drug manufacturer websites also offer discount coupons that can be printed off and taken to the pharmacy. By simply going to the manufacturer websites you can get coupons and save hundreds of dollars per year. Routinely checking the manufacturer’s websites, i.e. Duavee to see if there are new coupons, saving cards or free samples can help save money as well. For instance, if a certain hormone replacement drug is not covered under the prescription tier by your insurance company, going to the manufacturer’s website may be an alternative to still getting the medication.
4. Contact Your Insurance Company
If you get to the pharmacy and find out a drug is too expensive or is not covered by your insurance, you can contact your insurance company.
- Contacting your insurance company can help reduce the cost of medications.
- By contacting your insurance company, you can get a list of medications that are covered under the formulary or prescription tier for your prescription insurance.
- Getting a list of medications that are covered under the formulary can help the providers when choosing which medication regimen is appropriate for you.
5. Choosing Generic Medications
There are generic medications that are cheaper and usually, but not always, accomplish the same outcome for the patient.
Generic estrogen/estradiol tablets in bulk can be as inexpensive as $10-$30 dollars per month, but usually needs to be taken twice daily. Generic progesterone (needed if there is a uterus) is around $20-$30 dollars per month. Some doses of medicines can be given in higher strength and then the tablet or the patch cut in half.
6. Searching for Medicines from Canada
Previously prohibited and more recently reinstated, Americans can take picture of their prescription and upload it to Canada Drug sites such as northdrugstore.com and totalcaremart.com and many times purchase the same medication, but the same manufacturer for a much lower cost.
Insurance coverage and medication prices are constantly changing. It is important to take charge of your coverage and maintain your awareness. Knowing the resources that are available to you as a patient will help to keep the prices of medications down and keep money in your pocket for other needs. It is important to prioritize your financial needs as it may be worth it to pay more for certain medications and forgo that latest purse or outfit. On the other hand, less expensive generic medications may work as well for you and allow you to save for a rainy day.
Be Strong. Be Healthy. Be in Charge!
-Juliane Pesek RN and Amanda Shuttera RN
Juliane Pesek is a Registered Nurse at Cleveland Clinic Center for Specialized Women's Health.
Amanda Shuttera is a Registered Nurse at Cleveland Clinic Center for Specialized Women's Health.
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