Prescription drugs can be surprisingly expensive. Brand names, special packaging, research and development costs, and delivery all add costs to the drugs doctors prescribe. This can make it hard to afford the medications you need, and even if you can, the expense can put a significant dent in your budget.
Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the costs of your prescription medication. Here are five of the best.
Buy Generic Equivalents
Approved generic drugs have been proven to work the same as the name-brand versions, and they’re up to 85 percent less expensive. They’re great replacements for all but a few prescriptions. Your doctor will let you know if you have one of the few.
“Branded versions of the treatment are no different to the non-branded generic medicine,” Chief Pharmacist Stuart Gale from Oxford Online Pharmacy explains, “The active ingredient is identical in both versions.”
Buy Several Months’ Worth at Once
Many chemists and drug payment plans charge less if you get a three-month supply of pills instead of a 30-day one. If you’re going to be taking the medication for at least three months, make sure your doctor writes the prescription to allow you to get the larger quantity with each refill.
Getting three-month refills also saves you from having to pick up refills as often. This can be a great convenience, especially if you’d normally have to wait in a long line to pick up your medications.
Different pharmacies charge different prices for prescription drugs, just like they do for their over-the-counter products. This is true for online chemists as well as physical stores.
Therefore, you should never unquestioningly accept a price that seems too high. Check out several sites to see who is charging the least for the medications you’re looking for.
If you’re looking for a drug that’s covered by private insurance or a discount plan, be sure that the price you’ll pay is actually cheaper than what the chemist would charge on its own. In some cases, it isn’t! Be sure to use the payment method that gives you the best deal.
Use an Online Chemist
Physical stores have to pay for their leases, larger staffs, and interior accoutrements that make them suitable to be open to the public (such as tile instead of concrete, bright lighting, and shelving). These and other expenses are passed on to their customers in the form of higher prices.
Online chemists, on the other hand, don’t have to worry about running multiple locations or making themselves look flashy. This allows them to charge lower average prices for their drugs.
Shopping online also gives you the convenience of having your medications delivered right to your door. If you have a condition that makes it a chore to go out, this will be a service that is even more appreciated than usual.
Sign Up for a Prescription Assistance Programme
Many drug manufacturers have programs that allow you to get discounts, or even free medication, if you meet their criteria. These programs are typically unadvertised, and they can take quite a bit of digging to find. However, once you connect with one, you may find that you qualify for a much cheaper price.
Typically, you will need to meet specific financial criteria to qualify. Some programmes may require your health care provider to state that you can’t take a generic equivalent, as well.
Other prescription assistance programs may also exist in your area. Check with government bodies, charities, and hospital-based medical help programmes to start with. These sources often know about programmes that exist to make it easier to get medications, and can connect you to the ones that apply to your condition.
In the UK, be sure to check the NHS, as well. They offer free prescription medications to several categories of people.
The base price of some prescription drugs is prohibitively high, but there are several ways to bring your cost down. These five methods are some of the most popular.
- Buy generic versions
- Get multiple months’ worth of prescription drugs at every refill
- Shop around for the lowest price
- Buy your prescription medications online
- Try to get on a prescription assistance programme
These methods can be stacked, which allows you to maximize your savings. For example, you can get a three-month refill of a generic drug from the lowest-priced chemist you can find. Then, you’ll save much more than if you only did one of the suggested methods.
If you know anyone else who needs to be paying less for prescription medication, be sure to pass this information along. They and their wallets will surely thank you!