Prescription medications can be extremely costly, which can put some people in a tough situation. Learn seven tips on how to get a prescription for cheaper.

Do you feel like buying your prescriptions is making you broke? With the average person in the U.S. paying $1,200 annually for their prescriptions, your feelings are understandable. While your health insurance can help with the cost, you might face a deductible before you get benefits. You might also be one of the unlucky Americans without insurance and face paying for drugs completely out of pocket. Thankfully, you don’t have to go broke paying for your medications.

Read on to learn how to get a prescription affordably with seven tips.

1. Consider Equivalent Drug Options

Did you just get a prescription for an expensive branded medication that makes you worry? Luckily, you have a few options to save money. First, check if your pharmacist can provide you with a generic version. You’ll pay significantly less for a quality drug, just minus the branding. Talk to your doctor if you can’t get a generic. There might just be another drug that has the same effect but has a generic available. Otherwise, you can talk to your doctor about adjusting the amount of medication you take or how you take it. As an example, your doctor could give you a higher dosage medication you can split for multiple doses.

2. Apply to an Assistance Program

Did you know your medication’s manufacturer might offer a program that gives you cheap or even free medicine? If you’ve got a financial need, check the drug’s website to see if it mentions patient assistance programs. Don’t worry if you have insurance either since these programs often work either way. Also check out charities, governmental organizations, and research foundations for assistance programs. You just might be eligible for a grant to help with your drug costs.

3. Sign Up for a Prescription Drug Card

Often free or for a low fee, prescription drug cards are available online that can help you save a lot on medications. You can find these through websites like FamilyWize, Singlecare, and WellRX. Often, you just need to download an app or print the card. Your pharmacist will take some information from the card and process your discount. Just know to call the pharmacy ahead of time to confirm acceptance.

4. Use GoodRX to Compare Prescription Prices

Have you ever called several pharmacies around town to try to get pricing for your medication? This can take up a lot of your time, but luckily you have an easier alternative. While there are many prescription price checkers out there, GoodRX has become one of the most popular ones due to its ease of use. By typing the name of your drug and clicking a button, you can immediately see which nearby pharmacy has the best price. 

You’ll be able to compare the retail price and explore discounts at chains like CVS, Walmart, Kroger, Target, and Rite Aid. The site also supports mail-order pharmacies if you prefer that convenient option.  The site’s features expand beyond price comparison too. You’ll find some discount cards and coupon information whenever you search for a medication. Just download the GoodRX mobile app or check the website to start saving.

5. Consider Paying Out of Pocket to Get Cheaper Prices

Now here’s something you may find surprising. Sometimes you’ll actually pay less for your medications if you don’t use your insurance benefits. This will depend on your copayment and the regular price of the medicine. For example, you might have a copayment of $40 for a generic drug that costs $20 out of pocket. In that case, you’d find it better to just pay without the insurance. Paying out of pocket can also allow you to take advantage of pharmacy discount programs. Several pharmacies across the country offer benefits like free antibiotics. Others like Walmart have low-cost generic programs for those paying out of pocket.

6. Investigate Your Insurance Benefits

If you’re lucky to have insurance, it’s worth going into the details of how the prescription drug coverage works. You should also investigate the types of medications covered so that you can look for alternative ways to save money if necessary. For example, your prescription benefits might offer you a lower per-dose cost if you get 90 days worth of medication instead of a 30-day supply. The insurance company might also work with a specific mail-order pharmacy where you can receive 90-day shipments at a set cost. 

You should also pay attention to any prescription deductible your plan has. If you’re lucky, you may have a low deductible you can meet quickly and begin getting better drug coverage. If you have a very high deductible, you may qualify for health savings plans and prescription assistance programs that help you get your medication with less strain on your wallet.

7. Know That International Pharmacies May Be an Option

Has your attempt to save on drugs left you still struggling? Then consider looking outside the United States to find your medication at a Canadian pharmacy. While you may be wary of scams and possibly subpar medication, you can alleviate those risks if you check that the Canadian pharmacy is licensed. You can also explore customer reviews to ensure people don’t have issues receiving their medications. Before you try to order your medication from Canada, be sure to check out the U.S. Food and Drug Administration rules on importing drugs. This will let you know if your medication qualifies and will prevent trouble. You can visit this website to find your medication.

You’re armed with seven helpful ways that show you how to get a prescription you can afford. Begin investigating the best options for your medication and do some price comparison online and through local pharmacies. Your pharmacist and doctor can also serve as a source of information. Let them know about your financial struggles since they may direct you to available programs for your specific health condition.

Be sure to also check out our other health posts for tips and advice.

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