The price of prescription drugs is enough to make you ill. So today I’m going to share with you some easy ways to save money on prescription medication. Some of these tips work even if you have prescription drug coverage, as the co-pays might be less than the co-pay with your insurance plan.
You most likely have heard this 1,000 times “generic drugs work no differently than brand-name drugs.” For the most part this is true. The active ingredient in Lipitor, a brand-name anticholesterol drug is identical to the active ingredient in atorvasistan, the generic equivalent of Lipitor. However, the inactive ingredients of generic drugs can differ from the inactive ingredients in the brand-name drug. Also, inactive ingredients in generic drugs made by different manufacturers can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. In most cases this is of little consequence unless you are allergic to an inactive ingredient.
It is true that you will save a lot of money buying generic drugs. The generic form of Lipitor is only 15 or $16 while the brand-name sells for over $100. In most states there are laws requiring pharmacies to dispense the cheaper generic version of the drug unless your doctor has specified “dispense is written.” If he is writing for a brand-name the pharmacist is obligated to give it to you— and you will pay dearly for it. If this is the case, ask the pharmacist if there is a generic alternative, if there is, have the pharmacist contact your doctor to ask permission to make the substitution.
Chain drugstores such as CVS, Walgreens, Walmart and Target have hundreds of generic forms of brand-name medication that they dispense for four dollars for a 30 day supply and as little as $10 for a 90 day supply. In some cases buying the generic drug for cash is actually less than using your prescription drug insurance co-pay.
Discount Drug Cards
Drug discount cards offer discounts on prescription medications. These programs can be created by the state government, a membership organization, a nonprofit organization or even a for-profit business. The cards generally are free. Discounts can range from zero to 75 percent. These discount drug cards are not a drug insurance program and cover only generic medications. Sponsoring entities for these drug discount cards have different arrangements with generic drug manufacturers, so the discount you get can and will vary between cards. However the discounts can be very generous. For example take Simvastatin, a generic anticholesterol drug sold for a cash price of $39.99 for a 30 day supply at a noted chain drugstore. When the same drug is purchased with the Simple Savings Drug Discount Card the cost was only $19.99–a 50 percent savings. However, were you to use another type of drug discount card, such as the UNA Rx Card, there would be no savings.
There are lots of free drug discount cards available on the Internet that you can print out and take to the drugstore. Many of the sites also provide a listing of drug prices so that you can check before you use a particular card for a specific generic drug. Following is a list of sites that provide you with a discount drug card:
Just one more thing, if you live near a Costco their regular prescription prices sometimes are better than prices with a drug discount card and to use their prescription service you don’t even have to be a member!
Getting sick still costs a lot of money in America. But with the help of Prime Health, you will be able to save on your medications costs even if you don’t have prescription drug insurance.