15 Ways to Get Cheaper Medicine

If you find that most of your budget is going to prescriptions, it's time to make a change. Here are 15 ways to find cheaper medicine.
How to find cheaper medicine

The price of healthcare is just ridiculous. It seems inhumane how much doctor visits cost, never mind procedures and prescriptions.

There may not be much you can do to get discount treatments, barring going to another country, but there are ways to reduce the amount you pay on medication. Here are some suggestions that will help you get the relief you need without emptying your wallet.

15 Ways to Get Cheaper Medicine

1. Take Advantage of Free Trials

Many pharmaceutical companies offer free trials of their medications. You can ask for a 10 to 14-day trial from your doctor or look online for 30-day trials. These may not save you much, but they will hold you over for the short term and help you determine if you are satisfied with the results.

Meanwhile, you can shop around for discounts on a long-term supply.

2. Go the Generic Route

If a doctor prescribes you a medication, it always pays to ask if there’s a generic version available. Generic versions cost about 80 – 85% less than their name-brand counterparts, thus saving consumers billions of dollars a week.

Good news concerning generics is on the horizon as the 17-year patent on various popular drugs lapses every year. So, if you haven’t been able to find the generic version of the medication you have been taking, you may be able to find it in the near future.

3. Check out Government Programs

Save money on medicine by shopping online

There are quite a few states that offer government programs that help seniors make up for coverage gaps in Medicare Part D. Other programs that help patients of all ages may be available as well. Check out to find out what you might qualify for.

4. Consider Over-the-Counter Alternatives

An over-the-counter drug may provide similar effects to the medications you are taking at a fraction of the price. Consult your physician to find out about effective alternatives.

5. Ask Your Doctor About Pill Splitting

Pill-splitting involves buying a prescription higher than your required dose and splitting the pills to get the dose you require. It can save you a substantial amount of money.

Of course, not every pill can be split, such as time-release or coated capsules. But if you are prescribed the correct type of pill, you can take advantage of this money-saving strategy.

Pill-splitting is not easy to do, but many pharmacies sell devices made for just this purpose.

6. Put in Mail Orders

There are companies that allow you to order your medication in bulk via the mail. Avoid scams by ordering from drug fulfillment services that are accredited by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. They will have a Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) seal that ensures they comply with licensing and inspection regulations and privacy and quality standards.

7. Ask About Customer Loyalty

woman talking to pharmacist

Most rewards programs don’t apply to pharmaceuticals, but you may be able to work out your own deals if you just ask.

During your next visit to the pharmacy, ask the pharmacist if they will consider reducing your costs in return for your loyal patronage. Mom-and-pop pharmacies will be especially receptive, especially if you offer to pay with cash.

8. Go to a Wholesale Club

Wholesale clubs like Sam’s Club and Costco often provide prescription drugs at discount prices. Some will even allow you to purchase medications without a membership. You may also join prescription programs to earn deep discounts on your meds.

9. Research Patient Assistance Programs

With some research, you may be able to find pharmaceutical companies and nonprofit organizations that provide grants and discounts to low-income patients. The Partnership for Prescription Assistance and are both free resources that offer information regarding assistance programs that may be able to lower your costs.

10. Shop Around

When you purchase food, you look for the best prices. When you shop for clothing, you look for the best prices. What about meds?

The prescriptions you buy could cost a lot less at another pharmacy, and switching your pharmacy may save you lots of money. What’s more, many drug stores will offer you discounts and specials for switching to their pharmacy, increasing the amount you save.

Shopping around doesn’t have to be complicated. There are online resources that will allow you to enter your zip code and the medications you are taking to find the cheapest prices in your area.

There are also two new pharmacy options that are both cheaper: Amazon Pharmacy and Mark Cuban’s pharmacy Cost Plus Drugs. 

11. Get a Prescription Savings Card

A prescription savings card is a great way to save money on the medicine you need. The card will work differently depending on the kind you get, but they may offer an initial discount on your first purchase. You will continue racking up points every time you buy meds, earning discounts on future purchases.

12. Try a Different Medication

There are various medications on the market, and many of them address similar symptoms and conditions. If you are having trouble affording your medicine, talk to your doctor. They may be able to recommend an effective alternative that doesn’t cost as much.

13. Find Out if You Need the Medication

woman talking to doctor

If you have been taking a certain medication for a couple of years, you may no longer require the prescription. Review the pills you are taking with your doctor every few years to determine what’s necessary and what’s not. In addition to saving money, cutting down on pills could reduce unwanted side effects.

14. Buy in Bulk

Just like many other products, the more you buy, the more you save. Instead of getting your prescription filled every 30 days, try purchasing a 90-day supply. Studies show that doing so can cut costs by up to 29%.

Of course, this is a solution that will only work for drugs you are taking long-term.

15. Look for Coupons

It’s not common to see coupons for prescription drugs, but they are out there. They may be available for people with certain qualifications, such as being insured. Or companies may offer them in return for your contact information.

You may end up getting a lot of spam, but it could be worth it for the money you save.

Medication prices can be excessive. Fortunately, there are ways to cut back on these medical expenses. Which of these strategies will work best for you? 

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