In 2015, U.S. consumers spent $325 billion dollars on prescription drugs. If you take prescription medications to treat an ongoing health issue, you may know just how expensive certain prescriptions can be. Even with insurance coverage, medications can completely wipe out your budget. So what do you do when you can’t afford your medication?
Not taking your prescriptions will often do more harm than good. Thankfully there are all sorts of programs and saving options that you can look into to make your medication more affordable. No matter if you’re interested in learning how to save on Cialis, Crestor, Nexium, or some other prescription, we’ve got you covered.
Just as general brands of groceries or other products tend to be less expensive, the same stands true for medications. Many people falsely assume that generic medication is somehow different from name brand options. The fact is that generic medication must have the same chemical makeup, side effects, and dosages as name brand options. If you’re unsure if a generic form of your prescription exists, it never hurts to ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Be aware that some medications don’t offer generic options. In the event that you’re unable to find a non-name brand medication, there are many other ways to cut costs on your prescriptions, so don’t lose hope just yet.
Patient Prescription Assistance Programs
Though rarely advertised by manufacturers, most drug makers offer prescription assistance programs for consumers who are unable to afford their medications. These programs provide discounted and even free medicines, depending on the brand and program requirements.
Many drug manufacturers provide a link to their prescription assistance program on their website. For those who take several medications from different brands, it’s best to use a website like NeedyMeds.org which offers a list of more than 350 prescription assistance programs. This way you can quickly find and apply for these programs without having to visit dozens of different websites.
Ask About Free Trial Samples
Though it’s embarrassing to have to admit to your doctor that you cannot afford your medications, most doctors and staff members will work with patients to find ways to ensure you have access to the medications you need without having to face a financial struggle.
Since manufacturers often send free trial samples to doctors, ask if there are any trial samples that are available for you to take. While these samples typically only last 7-14 days, your doctor may be able to provide you several free trial packets so that you have enough to last at least a month.
Shop Around Locally
While it’s convenient to use the pharmacy that’s closest to your home or the one you’ve been using for years, if you want to get your prescription medications for less, you’ll want to shop around for options.
Each pharmacy can charge different prices, even for the same drug! At a brick and mortar pharmacy, your best bet for finding the lowest prices include places like Costco and Walmart. Retail stores and healthcare stores like Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid are known to have much higher costs when compared to other local retailers.
Some local pharmacies even offer delivery. Pharmacies like Medly in the Brooklyn area offer delivery and online appointments that can save you tons of time and money.
We all know that the Internet is a goldmine of deals and money saving options. Using a site like GoodRx, you can easily compare the prices of your prescription medications from various different retailers. With just a few clicks you can compare dozens of local pharmacies and find the one that offers the lowest prices. While you may end up having to fill prescriptions at different locations, the savings are well worth the decrease in convenience.
Try an Online Pharmacy
Just as you can buy cars, clothing, music, and everything else online, you can also order prescription drugs. Today there are several reputable online pharmacies that sell prescription drugs at a fraction of the cost. When ordering from an online pharmacy, make sure that its VIPPS accredited.
Apply for Medicaid
Medicaid is a health-insurance program that is funded at the federal and state levels. The program was created specifically for low-income and needy people. Before applying for Medicaid, you’ll want to determine if you meet the requirements. In some states, Medicaid eligibility is based on more than just your income.
However, there are mandatory eligibility groups including qualified pregnant women, children, low income families, and people receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI). To learn more about Medicaid eligibility, be sure to check out Medicaid.gov. The site provides an overall of eligibility requirements as well as resources by state.
The idea of not being able to afford your prescription medications can be scary. For some, their medications are a lifeline that keeps them alive and well. If you’re facing financial hardship because of prescription drugs, be sure to look into the above options to cut your costs.