- Ask your doctor to prescribe less expensive medications. Doctors don’t typically know what patients are paying for their prescriptions and may be shocked to find out. Even drugs that are covered by insurance can cost hundreds of dollars for the patient. If you get to the pharmacy and your medication is not covered, or not affordable, call the doctor’s office and see if there is another option. Your doctor’s first choice of medication for you is probably not the only thing that will work. Older generic drugs can often be used first, and if they are not getting the job done, a patient may need to try a newer (and sometimes more expensive) medication. This is especially true for common conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
- Manufacturer discounts and coupons. Manufacturers often have savings programs available for new and expensive medications. They also sometimes provide doctors with coupons and samples so don’t forget to ask. You can also search online for coupons. Many brand name drugs have websites with information about the medication and coupons that you can download. Be sure to read the fine print because not everyone is eligible for the savings programs. For example, patients on a Medicare Part D plan usually are not able to use discount coupons due to federal law.
- Assistance programs. There are also organizations that can help you find savings.
Needymeds allows you to search for savings by drug name.
Partnership for Prescription Assistance provides information on prescription savings and free or low cost clinics.
Rx Hope contracts with pharmaceutical companies to provide an electronic application process for their patient assistance programs.
More information here
- Discount pharmacies. Many grocery stores or big box retailers offer low cost or free medications. Some are available for $4 for a 30 day prescription. These are typically generic drugs like metformin, lisinopril, or simvastatin, and some antibiotics. Kroger, Wal-Mart, Meijer, Publix, Price Chopper and many others have offered discounted prices. Check your local pharmacies to see if they are participating.