You might be surprised to find that there are ways to save on prescription medicines you may not have considered. Are you overwhelmed by the cost of the drugs your doctor has prescribed for you? Do you wonder if you really need them? You are not alone. Many patients can’t afford the medications they need to recover from an illness, or just to stay healthy. Some people go without. Others spend food or gas money on medicines. It’s a terrifying situation. Whether your meds are for treating a short-term or chronic illness, they can be out of your price range. Making choices about whether to pay for medical needs, food, or other necessities can be agonizing for families. When illnesses are chronic, the decision can be even harder to make. So what can you do about it?
Here are some great ways to save on prescription medicines
One of the first things to do when looking to save on drug costs is explore Internet pharmacies, which are becoming more popular for a number of reasons. You can get affordable rates from an online discount chemist. Price is not the only reason for searching online for medication, however. Another is that web-based pharmacies offer a wide variety of medications and inexpensive shipping fees. You can ask your physician or friends for recommendations, or do your own research. Here are some other tips for saving on the medications you need.
Buy generics instead of brand names
Generics are drugs created similar to patented, brand-name medications. They contain the same active ingredients, and have a similar quality and effectiveness as the original products. The only difference between the two is the inactive components used in manufacturing the drugs. These may be flavoring agents, colorings, and preservatives, which mostly have zero pharmacological effects. Patented drugs are the originals and always cost more.
Many, but not all, brand names have generic counterparts. Whenever you have a drug prescribed, ask your doctor if there is a generic drug, or an alternative that costs less. This is one way to get in the habit of saving money, which you could use for other family or personal needs.
Save on prescription medicines with free samples from your doctor
You doctor often has samples available to give to patients to try. If there are several drug choices for you, ask about them and their effectiveness and side effects. Ask your physician if he has samples for you to try to see which one is right for you. Your doctor will be willing to help you save on your meds. Samples are great for short-term needs.
Compare pharmacy prices
Pharmacies price their products, according to where they acquire them. In most cases, medicines purchased directly from manufacturers are sold at a lower retail cost. On the other hand, those that use middlemen or brokers may charge higher rates. This is another reason to do some research. You don’t have to visit different stores, however. You can find answers on the Internet. Before buying your prescription drugs and pain medications from any pharmacy, it’s a good policy to compare costs so you know you are getting the best prices.
For chronic conditions buy a larger supply
For prescriptions used to manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and others, you can save money by getting a three month supply rather than a 30-day prescription. You can ask your physician to prescribe you medications on a 90 day basis at your next appointment. In most cases, you’ll find that buying generics in large quantities is cheaper.
Check out programs and pharmaceutical companies that offer assistance
Some local governments and states have an assistance program for prescription drugs. Qualifications may be based on income, where you live, and whether or not you have insurance. Same with drug companies. This is something you can ask your doctor about.
Getting smart about shopping for prescription medications and consulting your doctor can save you money while you’re getting healthy.