Prescription drugs can be pricey. When you get sick and only need them for a short time it may not seem like much of an expense, but what about people who take the same prescription drugs every day? Saving even just a few dollars a month can really add up over time, and with some prescription medications there are far less expensive alternatives available. Find out how to get your hands on less expensive prescription drugs and other tips for saving money when you buy your medications.
Step 1: Talk To Your Doctor
In many cases, your doctor can be a great resource for finding alternatives to expensive prescription medications. It may be tough to bring it up, but it’s critical to let your doctor know that you need to look for a more affordable option when it comes to getting your prescription filled. Most doctors are more than willing to help since financial issues can sometimes lead to a patient not following the advised treatment.
In many cases, a doctor can easily prescribe a generic drug rather than a brand-name medication. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, generic drugs can cost up to 85% less than a brand-name drug. You can also ask about getting free medication samples from your doctor. Provided to health professionals by pharmaceutical companies, these samples can save you a lot by allowing you to see if a specific drug works for you before purchasing the medication for yourself. It’s also a great way to evaluate side effects before you buy.
Step 2: Get In Touch With Your Insurance Company
Every insurance company has a formulary. This is a list of the medications that are covered under your plan. If the drug prescribed to you isn’t on the formulary, go back to your doctor and have them suggest other options that are on the list. You may want to look for other options even if the drug prescribed to you is covered – just because it’s on the list doesn’t mean the co-payment won’t be high. Before you make a final decision, give your insurance company a quick call to confirm the co-payment and ask about any formulary restrictions to avoid unexpected charges.
Step 3: See If You Qualify For Aid
If you’re having trouble affording your medications, find out if you qualify for Medicare. Medicare has a prescription drug benefit, so your eligibility may help you get coverage for these medication costs. If Medicare isn’t an option, ask your doctor about state-sponsored services, community assistance programs or discounts through groups like AARP.
Step 4: Compare Pharmacy Prices
In addition to looking for cheaper medications, you can also look for a cheaper pharmacy. You can sometimes find a pharmacy that offers a discount for certain services. For example, you may be able to save by buying 90 days worth of pills at a time rather than just 30 days at a time. The pharmacy may also offer money-saving online or mail order programs that send prescription medications directly to you. Call around to local pharmacies, supermarkets and retail stores to find out which has the cheapest offering. Just remember to keep all your prescriptions at one pharmacy so they can alert you to any potentially risky drug interactions.
Step 5: Look For Coupons
People don’t often associate coupons with prescription medications, but you can sometimes get a great deal by looking for discounts in this way. First, check with the manufacturer since they sometimes offer free 30-day trials or coupons for a discount. You can also check in magazines or online at sites like http://www.InternetDrugCoupons.com.
Step 6: Consider Tablet Splitting
Splitting tablets is a method that is sometimes employed to help patients save money. Basically, the doctor prescribes a double-strength tablet to the patient, who then splits it in half and takes one half per dose. This can be cost-effective since double-strength tablets don’t always cost double the price of a single-strength tablet. However, it’s very important to ask your doctor before you consider this method since some pills should not be split. You should also ask your pharmacy about buying a tool to help you split the tablets evenly every time.
Prescription drugs can be a major expense that hinders your ability to treat your condition. That’s why it’s so important to do whatever you can to save money when it comes to getting the care you need. Don’t be shy about asking your doctor for help in finding more affordable prescription medications that can help you. This is a common query among patients and it’s critical to your health to be able to afford the right medications.