Given the rising costs of prescription drugs in the United States, it’s no surprise that patients all over the country are looking for ways to save money on their medications. Luckily, the internet has made it easier than ever to learn about prescription drug pricing and find ways to save money on all of your prescriptions.
Your doctor is also often aware of the discounts available for the medications they prescribe, so don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re concerned about how you plan to pay for one of your medications. If you have prescriptions that you’re struggling to afford, read on to learn more about how to find discount medications.
How are prescription drug prices set?
Prescription drugs in the United States are more expensive than other high-income countries, and there are a few reasons for that. The most important factor is that unlike in other countries, the U.S. government does not regulate or set the price of drugs. Drug companies set their own prices, and then a patient’s insurance coverage and pharmacy set the price that a patient will be responsible for out of pocket. While some drug companies argue their prices are required to fund innovation, Congress continues to fight to implement pricing controls to protect vulnerable patients affected by the increasing cost of their medications.
Drug prices can also vary from pharmacy to pharmacy, which is why it’s important to comparison shop and call different pharmacies in your area before you decide where to fill your prescription. You may even find that there are manufacturer discounts or coupons available that provide a lower price than even your health insurance plan does, so it’s essential to explore your options before you fill your prescriptions.
What can you do to lower the costs of your medications?
One great way for patients seeking discount medication to save money is to look at websites that provide coupons and other special offers like GoodRx and USARx. Doctors and pharmacists often have additional information they can provide you about any offers or discount programs you may be eligible for. Sometimes manufacturers also offer discounts, especially for patients who are experiencing financial hardship. Many websites that offer discounts even have memberships or a discount card that can be used on a recurring basis.
You can also talk to your doctor about increasing your dosage, so you can use a pill splitter to extend the lifespan of your refills. However, some medications can’t be split, especially those that use some kind of time-release mechanism. Another option is to consider a 90-day refill instead of a 30-day refill, though there are restrictions on the length of the refills permitted for some controlled substances. Switching to a generic medication can also bring the costs of your prescriptions down, though not every medical condition has a generic drug that works. Still, it’s worth asking your doctor if there’s a way to switch off your brand-name medication if the cost is too high.
As prescription drugs get increasingly expensive in the United States, patients need ways to save money on their medications more than ever before. Because pharmacies and drug companies have the ability to set their own prices, the cost of drugs can vary depending on where you live and even which specific pharmacy you go to. The healthcare system and the rules surrounding various discount programs can often be confusing for customers, and the lowest prices on many prescription drugs aren’t advertised well, if at all. While it can be a challenge to be proactive about finding discount medications, it’s worth the effort for the money that you’re able to save.