From coupons to patient assistance programs, here are some ways to save at the pharmacy.
If you’re uninsured, paying for prescription medications out of pocket can strain your budget. Without insurance, your prescription might cost you hundreds. Some medications—such as Mavenclad for treating relapsing multiple sclerosis—can top a shocking list price of $50,000, according to the GoodRx Research Team’s roundup of the most expensive prescription drugs in the U.S..
So where do you turn for affordable medication? Here are several options to lower your bill:
Ask about the generic version
Ask your doctor whether the generic version of your prescription will work as effectively for you. If so, you can save lots of money by ditching the brand name. In the majority of cases, a generic will work just as well because it requires the same active ingredients, dosage and manufacturing standards from the Food and Drug Administration as its brand-name equivalent.
Compare prices and use coupons
Did you know the price of your prescription medication can vary greatly by pharmacy? Even pharmacies in the same neighborhood can have drug-price differences of over $100. Sites such as GoodRx compare drug prices from various pharmacies and provide pharmacy discount coupons, which can save you up to 80% on your prescription. You can also use drug manufacturer coupons, which are helpful if there is no generic alternative available. However, in some cases you will need health insurance to take advantage of manufacturer savings cards. (Check out these tips on how to use manufacturer coupons.)
Order a 90-day supply
Some medications have quantity restrictions, while others allow a 90-day prescription. If you can afford to pay for three months of medication out of pocket, and your prescription allows a 90-day supply, this option may save you money in the long run.
Research patient assistance programs
Lastly, you can look into patient assistance programs (PAPs), which are often through pharmaceutical companies and help with out-of-pocket medication costs if you are uninsured or your health doesn’t cover your prescription costs. Find PAPs through a directory such as Medicare’s, or call your medication’s manufacturer and ask about programs.