Three Ways to Save on the High Cost of Prescription Drugs

Almost 70 percent of Americans take at least one prescription drug, and 50 percent take at least two. They may be necessary and helpful, but there’s no denying that they can also be expensive. Here are three ways to save on prescriptions:

Talk to your doctor: He or she can help you save on prescription costs. If your physician can write your next prescription for two months instead of one, you’ll minimize the dispensing fee.

Also, if your doctor recommends a new medication, ask him or her to suggest other drugs that can be prescribed for the same condition. Contact your insurer to see whether each is covered, what their co-payments are, and if there are formulary exclusions. Check prices with a pharmacy, then ask your doctor if he or she can order the less expensive one.

Doctors can usually prescribe generic versions of a drug. In most cases, these versions are cheaper than the “name brand.” Your doctor may also be able to give you free samples provided by the drug company.

Check with the drug manufacturer: Many offer programs for those who can’t afford medications. If you meet their criteria, you could get your medication free or at a significant discount.

Seek assistance if on Medicare: If you’re on Medicare, federal and state government assistance is available. You may also get support with premiums, co-payments, and deductibles. Many state subsidy programs also offer prescription assistance for senior citizens; this helps eliminate coverage gaps or cost-sharing not covered by Medicare Part-D.