Six Tips for Lowering Your Prescription Drug Costs
Category: Drug Information
Posted on January 28, 2022
Scott is passionate about health and wellness, and enjoys writing on various topic surrounding these fields. Scott lives in Seattle and spends his free time restoring old furniture and playing pickleball with his friends.
Did you know that eight in 10 adults in the US find prescription drug costs unreasonable? Affordability seems to be the main concern for people taking more prescription medicines. Even more, some people end up not taking the medications as directed because of the costs.
The high cost of prescription drugs threatens people's health and financial lives. You wouldn't want to go into debt or see your health condition worsen because you can't afford medication.
Finding a better deal on prescription drugs can save you money. You also get a better quality of life and the ability to deal with life-threatening conditions. Here are six interventions that can help you lower these costs:
1. Talk To Your Doctor Or Pharmacist
While you may assume that your doctor is aware of the costs of the prescribed drugs, it’s usually not the case. Your expenses on this medication will depend on your insurance coverage.
If you find the costs high when filling a prescription, consult a physician for less costly alternatives. Your doctor will be willing to suggest low-cost, effective prescription drugs.
Even more, most pharmacists don’t know the types of medications covered by insurance. If you find their prices higher, speak to them about alternatives.
2. Switch To Generic Drugs
Ask your current health care provider for a less expensive, similar, or the generic option of the prescribed drugs. Generic drugs are usually approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) to be effective and safe. Unlike brand-name drugs, they cost less money.
Brand-name medications tend to cost more because of the processes involved in manufacturing them. Their prices also reflect the level of branding or marketing efforts applied to get them to consumers.
FDA-approved generic drugs offer similar risks and clinical benefits as the brand-name ones. The FDA requires them to have the exact dosage, strength, quality, stability, safety, and effectiveness as their counterparts. They monitor both generic and brand-name drug products to ensure they meet quality standards.
3. Seek Help From Programs By Charitable And Pharmaceutical Companies
Reach out to pharmaceutical companies with incentives for prescription drugs to lower the medication costs. Your eligibility for these programs will depend on your income and health needs.
You can also sign up for charitable relief programs run by community and national-based charities. These relief programs target people who can’t afford prescription drugs at full cost. Qualifications vary with the charity and your health condition.
These programs can be ideal for you when you need a lifetime supply of prescription medicine. They may also work for you if your current prescription is taking a huge toll on your finances. Either way, ensure that the discounted or donated drugs are approved for use by the FDA.
4. Turn To Medicare, Medicaid, Or CHIP
Medicare offers an optional drug coverage known as Part D to cover prescription drug costs of up to $4,100 every year. Once you sign up for Medicare, be sure to enroll in this coverage. If you have many prescriptions, the plan also qualifies you for a supplemental drug plan at a separate cost.
Even more, Medicare can give you added coverage if you are eligible for a program known as Extra Help. As a Social Security and Medicare program, Extra Help covers medication expenses for those with limited income. You need to meet a certain income and resource criteria to qualify for this program.
It’s also possible to save on drug costs if you’re eligible for CHIP or Medicaid. CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) provides coverage to children whose families can't afford private insurance. The program also targets kids from families whose incomes are too high for Medicaid’s income criteria.
Medicaid is a state and federal-run insurance program targeting low-income people. Children, people aged 65 and above, and pregnant women qualify for this program. You may also be eligible for Medicaid if you have a low income or live with a disability.
5. Split The Pills
Splitting your pills in half can save you money if your prescription drugs are available twice the normal dose. With this strategy, you can get a two-month medicine supply for the price of a one-month supply.
However, it's difficult to split some medications safely, and there are risks involved with the method. Talk to your physician or pharmacist before cutting pills in half. You should also check the package insert whether the FDA has approved the medication for splitting.
Avoid splitting pills with a hard outer coat or small, uneven shape since they won't split evenly. Capsules and tablets with an extended-release are also not ideal for splitting.
Use a sanitized pill-splitter and always clean your hands to avoid contaminating the drug. You should also talk to your pharmacist or doctor for instructions on the same. You risk getting an uneven dose or forgetting to split pills with this method.
6. Make Use Of Coupons And Mail-Order Or Online Pharmacies
Count on your insurer’s mail-order service to get the drugs for a supply of up to 90 days. Always plan before using a mail-order service since the delivery may take up to two weeks.
Before transacting with an online pharmacy, check whether they are licensed to operate in the US. You should also explore the FDA's BeSafeRx page for tips on buying prescription drugs online safely.
Stay away from pharmacies that don't ask you for a valid doctor's prescription. You should also avoid those without a licensed pharmacist who is on call for customers' questions.
Find coupons online for prescription drugs to cope with their overwhelming costs. Some websites offer drug cost comparison tools to help you find the best deal.
Lower Your Prescription Drug Costs Today
Prescription drug costs don’t have to take a toll on your finances. With the tips discussed in this guide, you can find better deals when you need to save money. The key here is to be savvy and seek help on any issue related to your prescription.
Find a selection of popular prescriptions used by Americans from PricePro Pharmacy. We have adequately trained pharmacists on standby to help you find affordable prescription drugs. Check out our How-to-Order page before placing an order on our site.