Cost-Saving Tips for Prescription Drugs
For a new prescription, don't buy a whole bottle; ask for just a few pills. You may have side effects from the medication and have to switch. If you buy a few, you won't be stuck with a costly bottle of medicine you can't take.
For on-going conditions, medications are often less expensive in quantities of 90. Buy large quantities of drugs only if you know your body tolerates them well.
Call around for the lowest price. Pharmacy prices can vary greatly. If you find a drug cheaper elsewhere, ask your regular pharmacist if he or she can match the price.
Other ways to make your prescription dollars go farther:
- Utilize the Medicare Drug benefit (Medicare Part D).
- Ask for a generic equivalent.
- Get free drug samples. Pharmaceutical companies often give samples of drugs to physicians. Tell your doctor you'd be happy to have them. This is especially convenient for trying out a new prescription.
- Buy store-brand or discount brand over-the-counter products. Ask the pharmacist for recommendations.
- Find out about drug discount or assistance programs (later in this chapter).
- Try mail-order. Mail-order pharmacies can provide bulk medications at discount prices. Use this service only for long-term drug therapy because it takes a few weeks to be delivered. Compare prices before ordering anything.
The following resources may also help in lowering your prescription drug costs.