Save Cash On Prescription Drugs With These 8 New Methods

The prescription retinoid that my dermatologist suggested sounded like an excellent idea. It was a topical vitamin A-based cream, which has been shown to help in reducing great lines and wrinkles. Now that I’m a middle ager, I believed I ‘d give it a try. Then I got to the pharmacy, and discovered that the little tube had a big rate: $371! I didn’t wish to pay out that much for a mere face cream, so I didn’t fill the prescription.

But my case was just skin-deep. What about individuals who can’t– or don’t wish to– spend for prescription medications to treat chronic or major health problems? “It’s a real problem. Medications only work if people can afford to take them, and you can’t afford to take they are not going to work,” states Dr. Joshua Gagne, a pharmacist, and epidemiologist with Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

According to a National Center for Health Statistics survey, about 8% of adults in the United States don’t take prescribed medications since they can’t manage them.

Even if cost is not affecting your medication regimen, the following ideas might save you some money.

Try generics.
Generic drugs have the exact same active ingredients as brand-name medications, but generics are substantially more economical. For example, the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor retails for about $390 for a 30-day supply. The generic version, atorvastatin, is about $10 for a 30-day supply. Always ask your doctor if a generic is readily available. “If a generic isn’t offered, ask if there’s a similar drug with a generic version,” suggests Dr. Gagne.

Go to a big-box shop.
Many drug stores in grocery stores and big-box chains offer hundreds of generic medications for merely $4 (for a 30-day supply) or $10 (for a 90-day supply). Request the list when you’re at the drug store or look it up on the Internet, and bring a copy to your doctor. Do not be discouraged if your medication isn’t on the list; check various stores. “Different chains have different lists,” says Dr. Gagne.

Get a bigger dosage.
Some prescription medications can be divided into a pill-splitter. Ask your medical professional if that’s the case with your medication and if it’s possible to get a double dose. For instance, you might get 10-milligram (mg) tablets that can be split into 5-mg tablets. Some medications can not be split, such as pills or tablets that are enteric-coated, or those that release medicine gradually. “As a general rule, extended-release or slow-release medications should not be split,” says Dr. Gagne. These include drugs like metformin ER (Glucophage XR) for diabetes and pantoprazole (Protonix) for heartburn.

Get a bigger supply.
Instead of getting a prescription that lasts for 30 days, and making an insurance copay each time, request a 90-day supply so you can make just one copay every three months. This works for medications you take long-lasting.

Apply for support. There are lots of kinds of prescription support programs offered by state and city governments, Medicare, nonprofit groups, and even drug makers. These programs generally have earnings requirements. Nonprofit companies consist of Needy Meds and Partnership for Prescription Assistance. Other resources consist of state assistance programs and Medicare Extra Help. Another choice is to call the maker of your medication straight. You can search for your medication on this Medicare website.
If you’re on Medicare, think about upgrading your strategy. Medicare strategies can change from year to year, including the medications they cover, and the copays and deductible amounts. You have an opportunity to switch Medicare plans during the yearly enrollment period from October 15 to December 7. Review the alternatives utilizing Medicare’s customized plan search on its website.

Medication retail prices differ. Some drug stores buy straight from drug makers; others use a middleman, which can increase rates. Call drug stores in your location to compare rates, or use a computer system or smart device app to do the work for you, such as WeRx or GoodRx. The attorney general of the United States’ workplace in your state may also have a website that supplies comparable information.

This last technique is the one that worked for me. My skin specialist directed me to a pharmacy that sold the retinoid cream for less (because of a deal with the drugmaker). It wasn’t free by any means; however, the rate sufficed to get me to fill the prescription. Do I look more youthful yet? Not quite. But thanks to the discount rate, my wallet is looking a little much better.

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