11 Ways to Save on Prescription Drugs
Save on the rising costs of prescription drugs?
As Prescription drugs continue to rise, the costs are becoming more of a challenge for both the insured and the uninsured. Access to prescribed medication is critical for both children and adults. Lack of access can result in increased stress, patients skipping doses to save money, or even procuring medication from others. Lack of adequate and correctly prescribed medication can be a major stress in a family. Stress from insufficient or incorrect medication can lead to child abuse and neglect.
Consider the following 10 options for saving on the cost of prescription medication…
1. Drugmakers’ patient-assist programs, described as a “necessary evil” in the face of continued price increases provide co-payment assistance for free or discounted medicines to people who can’t afford them. Use a search engine for the Internet (i.e., Google, Bing) to find the name of the manufacturer of your medication. Patient assistance programs are usually listed on the web site, or you may need to contact the manufacturer directly through e-mail or a letter.
: started by a retired doctor, Rich Sagall, worked with Medicare and Medicaid to list hundreds of programs. The Internet site has helped millions of people.
3. Hospital employees can help connect your with hospital patient assistance programs. Call the hospital directly or speak with the social worker assigned to your case. If you do not have a social worker, ask for one.
4. Always talk to your doctor and/or pharmacist about your insurance or savings/discount benefits, the medical benefits of your medication, and whether there are less-expensive options, including generic drugs, that would work as well for you.
5. Check if local stores where you purchase your medications have savings or discount programs.
6. Shop around. Many patients on several drugs can get a few at one pharmacy and a few more at another pharmacy that offers a lower price.
7. Compare drug prices on-line: The Patient Advocate Foundation uses the GoodRx app
which helps compare costs by pharmacy, and the site includes coupons
8. Appeal to your insurer for a clinical exception. If your insurer denies coverage for a more expensive drug that you have been using successfully, file for an exception. For example, if you use 3 tablets of a medication per day but your insurer only pays for two, ask your doctor to file an exception to justify the use of 3 tablets to maintain your health.
9. If you have an insurer, and the company offers a mail-order plan, the plan may not only save on cost-deductibles but also be more convenient. Having the drugs delivered to your mailbox also saves on transportation costs.
10. Research your local community (the Yellow Pages, the Internet, your local United Way, or a phone book are all good sources of information) to locate the nearest “call center” for assistance. Many communities have set up a “211” number to call for assistance on challenges such as medications, housing, food, shelter, utility payments, housing programs, food, clothing, and more.
Having the correct medication and assistance with purchasing the medication may mean the difference between life and death.