As we know, prescription drug pricing can come with a bit of sticker shock when you go to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription.
What could be even more shocking is that you could be paying more at one pharmacy than at a pharmacy that is across town or just down the street for the same medication. In 2020, retail prices for over 200 brand name drugs that are widely used by older adults increased by an average of 2.9 percent.
Prescription drug costs have continued to go up in pricing throughout the years, but that does not mean that you must pay an arm and a leg for all your medical needs. Below will go over some tips and advice on how to get a lower cost on prescription drugs* (*Disclaimer: This may not work for all prescriptions or future prescriptions you may have but is advice on typical ways you could possibly see a decrease in your drug costs).
Top 5 Tips to save Money on the Cost of Prescription Drugs:
- Comparison Shop
There are several methods and platforms in which you can look up cost comparisons on how much your prescription costs. A popular method is looking at online platforms such as GoodRx and America’s Pharmacy. These platforms allow you to type in your drug name, where you live, and then it will provide a list of pharmacies in your area along with the cost of the drug at the pharmacy without insurance.
This could be a good solution if you do not have copays for your prescription since the discounted price could be lower than a copay anyway. However, these prices, especially if you are using a discount card, do not normally go toward the deductible.
- Check for Coupons
Another way you could find savings is using coupons. Along with the two platforms listed above, there are several ways in which you could get coupons for your prescriptions. You would simply go to a platform like GoodRx, type in the drug name, then look at the cost and get the coupon. You can also get a discount card but remember that you cannot use the coupons along with insurance, so, like mentioned before, these purchases do not go toward your annual deductible.
- Shop at a Local “Independent” Pharmacy
Sometimes local pharmacies have lower costs for drugs. To determine if a local pharmacy provides the lowest cost for you the best advice would be to go into the local pharmacy and ask for yourself. Local pharmacies can also provide other benefits to you as a consumer such as efficiency, customized customer service and advice, and convenience.
- Try Mail Ordering your Prescription
Mail order medications can be less expensive. Mail order prescriptions often contain a 90-day bulk supply, which can also save you money. Many mail order pharmacies offer 24/7 service through their website or by telephone as well. Keep in mind that mail order and traditional pharmacies may have a difference in copays and how they would work. Check with your insurance company when you are deciding between the two.
- Switch to a Generic
Many pharmacies have deeply discounted generic versions, which could be one of the most beneficial ways to cut cost to the medications that you use. Most pharmacies and even “Big Box” brand pharmacies, such as Walmart or Costco, have generic prescriptions that have 30-day supply of a prescription for $4, and even some pharmacies could have a 90-day supply of the generic for $10-$15. The best recommendation would be to be check with your pharmacy to determine if you can switch, it is also always advised to consult your doctor before you make a switch to a generic drug or if a switch needs to be made.
All in all, these are some ways that you can cut costs on your prescription drugs. This is just some advice as the costs are rising. Keep up to date with your costs through your pharmacy, through your personal organization, and your health care provider to ensure you are saving where you can and getting the most out of your prescription drugs while looking for ways to save.