5 Ways to Save Big Money on Prescription Medications

Prescription medications can get expensive, especially as the number of pills your loved one has to take each day increases. Even with Medicare or Medicaid, seniors and their caregivers can be faced with high co-pays and out of pocket costs. But you have options! Here are five easy ways to save money on prescription medication.

  1. Request Generics
    Generics, which are often half or less than the price of their name-brand counterparts, can save you lots of money. When your loved one's doctor prescribes a new medication, be sure to have them check the box that says generic equivalents are okay. Just make sure the generic you're getting contains the same active ingredients in the same quantities as the name-brand. It's okay if the drug contains different inactive ("filler") ingredients.

  2. Buy Larger Quantities
    It's often cheaper to get a 60 or 90-day supply of a medication than it is to get a 30 day supply. Even when the quantity is higher, your copay often remains the same. Just keep in mind that your doctor or insurance company may have to pre-authorize a larger quantity before your pharmacist can fill the order.

  3. Shop Around
    Some pharmacies are more affordable than others when you're paying out of pocket. Call and check prices at multiple stores to make sure you're getting the best deal. Ordering prescription drugs from an online pharmacy can also be cheaper. Just make sure the site is VIPPS-certified, and don't order drugs from multiple pharmacies. Remember, your pharmacist is the first line of defense against harmful drug interactions.

  4. Get an RX Discount Card
    You can get a prescription card that provides discounts on one or more drugs. Many pharmacies have these available at the counter. Before you pay for an order, have the pharmacy rep check the discount card price and your insurance price to make sure you get the best value. Drug discount cards generally can't be used with insurance or Medicare and Medicaid but can offer discounts that work out to be cheaper than insurance copays.

  5. Go to the Source
    Drug manufacturers often offer their own discounts. For new medications, you may be able to get up to a 14-day sample. For existing prescriptions, you may benefit from a patient assistance program. Also, check drug websites for printable coupons you can redeem at your local pharmacy.

Use one or more of these tips to save big money on prescription drugs.

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