How to Save Money on Your Prescription Drugs

How to Save Money on Your Prescription Drugs

In recent years, drug prices in the United States have soared. Consumers have reportedly spent over $1,000 per person on prescription medications, up from only $400 in 2000. The average list of brand name oral drugs jumped at least 9% or five times the inflation rate. Injectibles, meanwhile, increased 15% annually or eight times the inflation rate.

To make it worse, your health insurance will not protect you. More plans are abandoning low drug copays and having the cost of prescription drugs go toward a deductible. Insurance companies also have the power to decide whether a drug you need is covered or not. The presence of middlemen further increases the prices.

A true solution to lower prescription drugs must come from the government. However, your illness will not wait. In the meantime, you can take it upon yourself to save up on your medications. Here are some tips that can help you find a better deal.

1. Ask your physician for alternatives. If you received an expensive prescription, talk to your doctor and ask for a cheaper alternative. It is very possible that a different brand or generic competition can also work.

2. Find the best local price. You can find websites that will point you to the cheapest option or notify you when a capsule costs less than tablets. Some apps compare prices around your local pharmacies and even send out coupons.

3. Check prices online. Reputable online pharmacies exist. You can buy your prescription drugs for less outside of insurance plans. Just remember to verify the online pharmacy to avoid being scammed.

4. Be on the lookout for coupons. This is only a short-term solution, but if you can find drug-manufacturer coupons to save up on your drugs, then do not miss out!

5. Ask your doctor for free samples. Pharma companies load doctors with free samples for patients. It never hurts to ask, especially if you were given an expensive prescription!

6. Buy in Canada. Some medications are cheaper in foreign countries. Consider buying brand-name pills from Canada or Europe to save your money.

7. Lobby your congress representative. Ultimately, the lowering of prescription drugs must be a government initiative. Make your voice heard and demand better competition, transparency, and value-based pricing from your congress representative.

Ian Schindler