Tips for How to Save Money on Your Prescription Drugs

Are you looking to save on the cost of your prescription drugs? You may already know that the United States has become known as the land where people spend more money on medications than any other country in the world. Consumer Reports recently conducted a survey and found that many people are having to make sacrifices like taking a second job or delaying retirement for many years and even having to cut-back on basic daily needs like groceries and gas in order to afford their medications. The same Consumer Reports survey found that 30 percent of patients actually avoided having a prescription filled due to the high cost of the medication. Unfortunately, AARP conducted a study that found the cost of drugs will likely only continue to rise. The sky high cost of some drugs could be leading you to avoid or want to avoid having a prescription filled for a medication that may be vital to your health and well being. Here at VivA Life, we strive to help patients more easily adhere to their medication regimens and stay on track with the medications as prescribed by your healthcare professional.

In order to help save on the cost of your medications, we offer a few tips and guidelines that may reduce your out of pocket spend. Be sure to first ask your doctor if the medication(s) you are taking or will be prescribed have any cheaper alternatives. Simply asking for a generic medication instead of brand name can save up to 85 percent. Also, ask your doctor about getting a 90-day supply of your medications that you take on a routine, continual basis for a chronic condition like diabetes or high blood pressure. Think of getting a 90 day supply as similar to “buying in bulk” from the large wholesale clubs!

Be sure to also ask your pharmacists about the lowest possible price they can offer. Many pharmacies these days also participate in a “price-matching” program where they will check the cost of their drugs to other pharmacies and lower the price if their competitor offers the same medication cheaper. Pharmacist also may have connections to coupons that could significantly lower the cost of your medication right on the spot! If your pharmacist isn’t able or willing to call around to find the best price, take a minute yourself and call some other pharmacies in town and ensure you are getting the best bang for your buck. Some pharmacist may even recommend an over the counter drug as an option for your medication, which is likely to be cheaper than a prescription.

Some pharmacies and grocery stores have even started showing true customer service by offering 90 day supplies of medications for as low as $7.50, or about $2.50 a month! Why would they do this you may ask? Even though they may be losing some money on those prescriptions by selling them so cheap, they have high expectations that the customer will end up purchasing other items at the store as part of their visit. Bottom line is - make sure to ask about the best price the pharmacy can offer and they may be able to help out quite a bit.

Another creative way to save on medications is to purchase a discounted giftcard from or for your preferred pharmacy or grocery store and use the card to purchase your medications. For example, you may be able to buy a CVS giftcard that is valued at $30 for only $25, saving you $5 instantly and you can use that card at the pharmacy to purchase your prescription(s)!

A few more tips: Be sure to ask your pharmacist what the cost of paying for a prescription without using your insurance may cost. Sometimes it is actually cheaper to pay out of pocket without using insurance for your medications. Also, be sure to track all of your spending on your medications and keep the receipts for those purchases as you may be able to deduct unreimbursed medical expenses on your tax returns.

With the average cost for a year’s supply of a single prescription drug nearing more than $11,000 according to the AARP, it is vital for patients to explore all of their options in order to reduce prescription costs as much as possible to a reasonable and maintainable level.

We offer these tips only as guidelines. Consult with your healthcare professional regarding any medication usage. Photo credit to: