- When medication is unaffordable, these four steps will help you make it more accessible
Whether you have a short-term illness or a chronic health condition, doctors often prescribe medications to help you experience relief. Such medications can be a blood thinner, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, and so on. Some are even used to treat drug addiction.
Unfortunately, several medications come with an expensive price tag, making it hard for you to afford your doctor’s prescriptions.
Luckily, there are some ways on how you can save money on your medications, including the following:
Practice Shopping Around
The retail prices of medications may vary. This is because several pharmacies purchase directly from different drug makers, while others rely on a middleman, which increases the prices.
For instance, if you want medication for your hair loss, call local pharmacies, and then use a smartphone or computer app, like GoodRx, to help you compare prices. Also, as you shop around, talk to a pharmacist who may find a way to reduce the cost for you.
Consider Switching To Generics
Generic drugs are like copies of branded drugs. Still, these are approved as effective and safe by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). When compared to branded drugs, generics are much cheaper in terms of cost. However, it can still be effective in treating the same condition.
So, if you want to save money on your medications, try switching to generics. If you’re a first-timer about generics, you can always ask your doctor or pharmacist if there’s a generic option that you can consider.
Split Your Pills
Another way to save money on your medications is to split your pills. This means purchasing a double dose of your medicine and split the pills in half. However, it may depend on the kind of medicine and dosage you’re taking. Still, in some cases, it may help you save money.
If you don’t know which pills you can split, you can refer to the FDA’s list of the medications approved for safe pill-splitting. There’s always a note if the medications are approved for splitting on your medication’s label.
But before you consider this option, talk to your health care provider first because there are medications that may be harmful once it’s split.
Consider Drug Assistance Program
Depending on your health needs and income, you might be qualified for a drug assistance program, which is referred to as a patient assistant program. Fortunately, several pharmaceutical companies offer such programs.
Several health insurance plans and states also provide assistance programs. Hence, check with your local government websites and health plan provider about it.
Go To A Big-Box Store
A lot of pharmacies in grocery stores and big-box chains provide many generic medications at an affordable price, especially if you purchase in bulk. However, before you go to any big-box store, it’d be best to ask for the list of the medications you need, research about them over the internet, and consult your doctor about it.
If your needed medications aren’t part of their list, don’t be discouraged as chains may have different lists and you can always look for another big-box store near you.
Take Advantage Of Discount Coupons Or Cards
To save money on your medications, seek out discount cards or coupons online. After which, you can take these to your pharmacist to give you a discount.
However, take note that not all pharmacies accept discount cards. So, it’s better to contact them first and ask if you can use your discount coupons or cards. Other pharmacies also don’t honor coupon codes, most particularly for controlled substances like anxiety medications or opioid pain.
Ask For Samples
More often than not, doctors have all types of samples provided by drug salesmen. If your doctor prescribes a known medication, odds are that they may have several samples. By getting a few weeks’ worth of samples, you can save money from your medication expenses.
Find Mail-Order Or Online Pharmacies
Try searching for a good mail-order pharmacy for the medications you need. In some instances, your health plan may provide one to you and you can order a supply that’s good for 3 months.
You can also look online for the best mail-order prices. After that, before you complete your purchase, double-check with your health plan so you’ll rest assured that the medicines you purchase from the program are covered.
Take note that not everything you find on the internet is safe. Before you buy anything to complete your supply in your medicine cabinet, check with your health plan to ensure safety.
Depending on how often you should take them and on the type of drugs you need, medications can be expensive. However, while the costs of medications can bust your budget, the strategies above can make a difference in helping you save more money on your medications.