- If you own a health insurance policy or are shopping for one. Check to see if it has lower co-pay for generic drugs. Many times it can save you over 60% on the cost of your co-pay.
- Let your doctor know that you are concerned with the prescription costs.
Many times they can offer an alternative therapy or will know of programs that may help you cover the cost.
- Ask whether the prescription is necessary.
This goes along with #2 and working closely with your doctor. Your doctor may be able to suggest an over-the-counter drug that will cost less but still address your need. Many doctors feel pressure to prescribe medicine but if you simply ask, “Is this really necessary? Or would some extra sleep, diet or other things I could do take care of it as well?” You may be surprised by the answer you get.
- Ask your doctor for samples.
Many times your doctor may have samples of the prescription that he can give you to at least get you over the first prescription dosage.
- Comparison shop.
It doesn’t matter whether you are shopping for generics or brand name prescriptions…make sure you shop around. Spend some time calling around and shopping on the web for the best prices (especially if it is a medicine that you will be taking for any period of time). Prices do vary widely and it makes sense to invest a little (or a lot) of time making sure you are getting the best deal.
- Look for coupons or deals.
Go to the medicine’s main website to see if they are offering any discounts or rebates.
- Use the tools at your leisure.
If you are lucky enough to have a health care flexible spending account, make sure you put money aside to pay for prescriptions through the year. By doing this, at least you’ll be getting your prescription income tax free!
- Prescription discount cards.
Please check these out before you get them…with that said, there are some good choices for those people that do not have insurance. Some valid cards will actually get you discounts of 15% to 40% on brand name drugs. A good resource to start your research can be found here
- If you are low income, seek additional help.
Please make sure your doctor knows of your needs and they should set you up with someone to help you tap into resources that are designed to help people with your needs. Another resource to give you more information can be found here
- Go south of the border…or north.
It’s no secret that many prescription drugs can be found at a much smaller price tag in Mexico or Canada. There is a catch. It is against the law to “re-import” drugs that you can otherwise obtain in the US. That doesn’t stop the millions of Americans that cross over the borders to stock up on their needed prescriptions every single year. So if you proceed with this method, you do so at your own risk.