To take care of your health, you may eat healthy, exercise and manage your stress.
Part of that healthy living may also include trips to the pharmacy for those prescription drugs to help you maintain your health.
But while eating kale and going for a run can easily fit in your budget, paying for prescriptions can begin to add up very quickly. And when your prescriptions are necessary for your health, paying that high price may bring on some frustration at the pharmacy.
In fact, in 2015 Americans spent about $310 billion on drugs. That’s a 8.5% increase from 2014, according to IMS Health.
Thankfully, there are ways you can save money at the pharmacy. If you’re looking to tighten up your budget, the price of prescription medications might be an area you can cut down on.
Here, we share eight ways that you can save money at the pharmacy to maintain and improve your health.
- Go Generic – Like products and foods you find in the aisles of the grocery store, generic options can also be found in the pharmacy. Ask your doctor and do some research to discover if there are generic options available and if there are any substantial differences between the name brand and generic brand. Buying generic rather than name brand medications can help save you money. However, if your doctor prescribes a medication and encourages you to stick with a particular brand, it’s often best to follow their lead. But if you’re given the option, look into generic brands.
- Get a Rewards Card – Just like you can get rewards cards and earn points from groceries, you can also rack up savings at the pharmacy. If you make regular trips to the pharmacy, a rewards program can help you get money back on your purchases. Check out what rewards programs may be offered at your pharmacy and store location. According to an article from Shannon Hanrahan from PromoCodes, getting started with a rewards card is a quick and easy process. Especially if the rewards card comes through digitally, you can always carry the opportunity to save with you. If your trips to the pharmacy are more infrequent, it’s still valuable to be part of a rewards program. When the rewards program is connected to not just your pharmacy purchases but all your general purchases as well, you can save on even more products.
- Check out charity networks – If you struggle to afford your prescriptions, there may be organizations that can help you get the medications you need. Organizations like Patient Access Network Foundation which helps people with certain income levels to afford their prescription. This organization, for example, offers monetary grants for those in need of assistance.
- Ask For Samples – Are you starting a new medication? One easy way to save even before getting to the pharmacy is to ask your doctor if there are any samples available of the medication you are to take. While your doctor or specialist may not always have samples to provide, it’s worth a shot to ask. Hanrahan recommends this especially for dermatologists, where you may be able to try a variety of creams and face washes to use. Trying out a variety of medications may help you decide which works for you, and getting a sample of each will help your wallet. Samples allow you to discover an effective medication without spending a ton of money on products you may never really use if they’re ineffective for you. If you do discover a product that works for you, you’ll have more time to plan and be ready to make that purchase.
- Shop Around – While choosing your local pharmacy may be more convenient when running errands, shopping around for the best price of your prescription drugs may help you save money in the long run. Some pharmacies may offer better prices for the same medication. In fact, NerdWallet notes that websites like GoodRx can help you compare prices of area pharmacies so that you can find the best price. Shop around, but be sure whatever location you choose is still feasible with your transportation and schedule.
- Check out 3-Month prescription services – If you get prescriptions on a monthly basis, it may become tiresome to renew the same prescription every single month. One way to save money and save time is to look into options to get 90-day prescription. While this may not be an option for all your prescriptions, it can be very beneficial in helping your wallet and your time. Your insurance company may also be partnered with a mail order pharmacy that can get you a 90-day supply of your prescription at often a cheaper rate. An article from NerdWallet from Lacie Glover notes that you may be able to save even more if you order multiple medications at a time and ordering a 6-month supply of your prescription.
- Discover prescription discount cards – Another great way you can save money at the pharmacy is by using prescription drug discount programs. NerdWallet notes that discount programs like FamilyWize and NeedyMeds work with pharmacies in order to provide discounted rates. Do some research before joining in on a discount program in order to understand all the requirements and avoid scams. Discover what program could work for you and your family to fit your needs.
- Find prescription coupons – Like in grocery shopping, coupons can also be very valuable in ordering prescription drugs. An article from NerdWallet notes that some pharmaceutical companies may offer coupons for their brand name drugs. Visit their website to discover if they offer any coupons or special deals on the medications you need.
- Stay healthy on your budget – Maintaining and improving your health doesn’t need to break the bank when you get prescription drugs. With these eight tips, you can save money at the pharmacy and stay healthy. Next time you refill your prescription, check out these tips and discover what strategies you can use to save money and improve your health.