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8 Tips to Save Money at The Pharmacy

Written by Ally Streelman

NowRx Pharmacy

Many people don’t have an option when it comes to paying for a prescription they need. Unfortunately, this means people spend a lot of money at the pharmacy, sometimes without question. If you’ve never given your pharmacy bill a second glance, it’s time to start. You could be overpaying at the counter. Thankfully, there are ways to save money on prescriptions that anyone can put into practice. 

How To Save Money on Prescriptions

Before your next trip to the pharmacy, follow these tips to save on pharmacy costs.  

1. Go generic

When you walk through the aisle at the grocery store, you’ll likely notice various kinds of the same products on the shelf, including name-brand versions and store-brand versions. Let’s take sugar, for example. You’ll likely see the popular pink C&H bag as well as a store-brand bag, and the latter will probably be a few dollars cheaper. The same is true at the pharmacy. However, because you aren’t the one behind the counter, you don’t often get to choose between the brand-name medication and its generic counterpart.   

Generic versions of brand-name medications contain the same active ingredient and are held to the same standard. They, too, have to undergo a rigorous inspection to ensure their safety and effectiveness. The difference? Generic drugs will likely cost much less than brand-name drugs.

If your doctor prescribes you a popular brand-name drug, ask your pharmacist whether there’s a generic version that is suitable. Going this route can you save money on prescriptions. And if it’s a regular prescription, the savings can add up quickly. 

2. Talk to your doctor

In addition to using brand-name medications over generic versions, people also lose money on prescriptions by not using them correctly.

Talk to your doctor about the proper dosage and time to take your medication and for how long. Many people stop taking a prescription when they begin to feel better and end up having to pay more for additional medication, doctor visits, or even hospital care down the line. 

By taking your prescribed medication as directed and keeping the lines of communication with your doctor open, you can save money on prescriptions and other costly medical expenses.  

3. Know what your insurance plan covers

If you have prescription insurance, it’s essential to review your plan before filling a prescription. Even with prescription insurance, not all medications are covered. For example, most insurance plans won’t cover the cost of a brand-name drug if a generic one is available. And paying for a covered vs. a non-covered medication can mean the difference between paying nothing and paying hundreds of dollars.  

When you know what your plan covers, you can communicate with your doctor to prioritize covered medication whenever possible. And when you know your copay, you can walk into the pharmacy knowing exactly what you’ll pay at the counter. 

4. Increase the quantity

Similar to how buying groceries or household items in bulk from a superstore can save you money, buying your pills in bulk can save you money on prescriptions. While this isn’t possible with all medications, it’s worth looking into as it can be a cost-effective way to pay for regular medications, in particular. Pose the question to your pharmacist of whether purchasing a larger quantity could reduce your cost. 

Generally, 60 and 90-day supplies will be the highest quantity available.

Keep in mind purchasing a larger quantity of a prescription will come with a larger upfront cost, but it will save you money in the long run.    

5. Check for available discounts

Did you know manufacturers offer discounts on prescription drugs? In fact, it is relatively common for newer drugs to have some sort of cost assistance from the manufacturer to incentivize doctors to try a new treatment for their patients.

While not every pharmacy will go through the effort to process these, at Nowrx we always ensure these discounts are passed along to the patient.

We keep a full database of current and available discounts to help find patients a lower price and anytime a new drug is prescribed we check manually to see if a coupon is available. This automatic discount search and application saved patients over $2.8M last year and could make a big difference in what you pay at the counter.

6. Seek out prescription assistance

For low-income individuals who have trouble affording the medication they need, there are prescription assistance programs (PAPs) that can help. These programs reduce or completely cover the cost of prescriptions for the uninsured or underinsured. If you think you may qualify for prescription assistance, NeedyMeds is a helpful resource. Use it by searching for your specific medication(s) and discover the eligibility requirements for the PAP that offers it. 

Your pharmacist can be a helpful resource in finding these programs so it’s always smart to ask what options may be available for cost assistance.

7. Use Coupons

Coupons for prescriptions have become more commonplace with the advent of GoodRx. And they can help you save money on prescription medications. However, this typically only applies if you are paying for a prescription out-of-pocket or without insurance. If that’s the case, using a coupon can save you money on prescriptions. 

For those without prescription insurance, it may make sense to consider GoodRx Gold. GoodRx Gold is a subscription service that provides access to discounts on over 1,000 prescriptions. This can help you get the medication you need at an affordable price. 

8. Get your prescription delivered

You’ve heard it said that time is money. But that’s not the only way delivery can help you save on pharmacy visits. Studies show that home delivery of prescription medications can increase adherence and compliance to medication regimens. This, as we mentioned above, can help you avoid spending money on unnecessary medical expenses or additional prescriptions. 

The ease of attaining a prescription through delivery can ensure you’re able to manage your prescriptions effectively and continue receiving and taking the medication you need. Plus, it saves you a trip to the pharmacy.

Did any of these tips help you save money? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and get more helpful tips, and discounts related to pharmacy delivered right to your inbox each month.

About NowRx Pharmacy

NowRx Pharmacy is a new kind of local pharmacy built from the ground up to deliver a better pharmacy experience. We use modern technology inside the pharmacy to provide better pricing, better service, and better convenience. Visit our NowRx Pharmacy Frequently Asked Questions to learn more.

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