Annual prescription drug prices in the U.S. are climbing for American households. Experts project that yearly prescription medication spending will exceed $512 billion by 2020. The good news is that these five tips can help you save money on meds.
1. Consider Generic Options
The majority of prescription drugs have FDA-approved generic alternatives, often for about a quarter of the price. Talk to your doctor to learn whether the generic versions of your prescriptions will be safe and effective for you.
2. Try Splitting Higher-Dose Pills
Many pills cost the same whether you are prescribed a 100 or 50 milligram dose, for example. If that's the case for your meds, ask your doctor to write a prescription for the larger dosage and split your pills in half. Confirm with your pharmacist that it's safe to do so before proceeding, however.
3. Be Honest With Your Doctor
If you have trouble paying for the prescriptions you take, talk with your doctor. He or she may be able to work with you to find a less expensive alternative that is just as effective. In addition, periodically review your medications with your doctor, especially if you take more than one prescription. Sometimes, you may not need all the drugs you are taking, especially if your health has improved.
4. Shop Around at Different Pharmacies
If you find your medication cheaper elsewhere, talk to your pharmacist and find out whether he or she can match the price of their competitor. Often, the pharmacy will give a discount in order to keep you as a patient. You can also freely compare prescription drug prices from safe and licensed online pharmacies in order to save 50-80% off U.S. retail prices.
5. Find Prescription Assistance Programs
Learn whether you are eligible for a discount on your medication. Some pharmaceutical companies offer substantial savings for customers in need. This is especially true if you are elderly, have a low income, or are taking one or more high cost medications. Even if you think those don't apply to you, it can't hurt to ask. Also, you can research prescription assistance programs on ePharmacies.com or you can check available patient assistance programs on the NeedyMeds web site (needymeds.org), which archives information about 6,000 programs of this kind along with information about eligibility and steps to take to apply.
U.S. Prescription Drug Prices Continue to Skyrocket
Comparing drug prices in the United States to those in other countries, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) condemned pharmaceutical companies that charge American consumers the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs.