How to Save Money on Prescriptions

Save money on prescriptions without skipping your medications.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), many US adults take at least one prescription drug per day while older people can be on five or more medications. If you do the math, it is easy to see that American patients and insurance companies spend so much on pharmaceuticals. In fact, according to a study conducted by IMS Health, a company that provides information, services and technology for the healthcare industry, the US spent $329.2 billion on medications in 2013, up from $238 billion in 2008.

In addition to using more pharmaceuticals on a per capita basis (Americans rank first in the use of medications for psychosis, dementia, rheumatoid arthritis and respiratory diseases), the US also tops the bill when it comes to drug prices. Studies show that brand name patented drugs in the US can be up to 60% higher as compared to other countries.

As a result, many Americans choose to skip or skimp on their medications. Recent surveys indicate that one in every five adults fail to follow their treatments due to the high costs. However, skipping on meds can be a bad idea since it can cause bigger problems in the future. If you fit this description, here are some tips that can help you get well for less.

Confide in your doctor. If cost is an issue for you, consider telling your doctor about it. You may find this difficult to do but there is a great chance that your doctor would be more than willing to help you find a solution to this problem. With the wide availability of less expensive options, your health care provider can surely find a way to keep you on your medications.?

Go for generic drugs. Since generic drugs typically cost 80% less than their branded counterparts, using them can help you save a lot of money.

Compare prices. Shop around for the best prices. See how much your medications cost in different pharmacies in your area. If one pharmacy offers the best prices on most of the prescriptions that you are taking, ask the pharmacist if he or she can give you a discount on the other medications. Since most pharmacists want to develop a good relationship with their customers, there is a great chance that they would give in to your request.

Order in bulk. If you are being treated for a chronic condition, consider buying medications in bulk. By ordering a 90-day supply, you would typically pay the equivalent of two monthly co-pays. So, if you pay $20 for a 30-day supply, you would only pay $40 for a 90-day supply. You can also get your medications shipped for free.