The number of Americans living without necessary prescription medications is absolutely astounding. Thanks to the high rate of unemployment and the ever-climbing cost of prescription drugs, there are millions of people in this country that simply can’t afford their medication. If you or a member of your family requires a prescription drug and you need to cut down your costs, here are five easy ways that you can spend less:
There are very few prescription drugs on the market that don’t have a generic equivalent. You don’t have to be given a prescription for a generic medication to receive one. Before your pharmacist puts your pills in a bottle, ask if there is a generic equivalent for the prescription that you’ve been given. Your pharmacist can not only tell you if there is a generic version of your medication available, but can tell you the price difference between the two medications.
It’s never advisable to cut your pills in half after you’ve brought them home simply to save a few dollars. Taking a lower dose of your medication can reduce its efficacy and, eventually, be nothing more than a waste of money. Instead, find out if it would be more economical to purchase a higher dosage of your medication and then take half of what you were prescribed. For instance, if you are instructed to take two 250mg tablets twice a day, it may be more cost effective to buy fewer 500mg tablets and split them in half.
3.Use Mail Order Pharmacies
If you are on a long-term medication, your insurance provider may require that you use a mail-order service to secure your medications. If your service provider offers you the choice between mail-order and traditional pharmacies, they may offer a discount if you choose to go the mail-order route. Contact your provider to find out if they offer any incentives to use a mail-order pharmacy.
4.Ask for Samples
If your physician prescribes a new medication, don’t be afraid to ask for samples. Doctor’s offices receive samples from pharmaceutical companies on a regular basis but don’t often hand them out. For patients in the know, these samples can save hundreds of dollars. By taking advantage of samples, you may be able to receive a full course of antibiotics or other medications for free.
Pharmacies know that it’s becoming difficult for people to afford their medication and are in fierce competition with each other. Unless your insurance provider requires that you use a particular pharmacy, you have dozens of choices. Never make the mistake of assuming that the cost of your medication at one pharmacy will be the same as the price at another. Before you head out to have your prescription filled, call around to the pharmacies in your area and price shop. Even if you only save $10, it’s money that you can spend elsewhere.
Prescription medications are incredibly expensive, causing many people to skip taking the medication that they so desperately need. Use the five tips above if you are looking to save money on your prescription medications. You may find yourself surprised at just how much money you can actually save.
Lana Siller is a guest blogger for Viamedic website where you can find tips on staying healthy and saving money.