The best tip to save at the pharmacy is to know your insurance benefits might not be the best price available. Most insurance plans have a “tier” drug pricing structure. Basically, costs start low for generic and commonly used prescriptions. However, brand names or new drugs will cost much more.
The best advice is to shop before you buy, even if you have insurance.
- Each pharmacy has different retail costs, meaning prices vary drastically. Based on the latest Consumer Reports, CVS and Walgreens were some of the more costly options. Costco and Walmart are much better options. Look for deals, such as $4 for generics and $10 for brands. Specials on brand drugs save you the most. In order to locate better options, here are a few helpful sources to get you started.
- Savings programs are very prevalent now. Most savings programs send you a card to use in place of your insurance card. However, there are a few options that take additional savings after your insurance. This drastically lowers your cost, providing a double discount. The best incentive is a number of savings programs are free. It cost you nothing to join.
- Savings Programs: http://www.4rxcard.com/, http://www.americasdrugcard.org/, and http://www.rxcarecard.com/.
- Drug Manufacturers Discounts are the best kept secret. Drug manufacturer discounts allow you to obtain brand or new drugs at substantially lower costs. These types of savings are not widely publicized; however, usually are the cheapest option. Unfortunately, this is not a continuous benefit. The discounts usually have an expiration date, 3 to 24 months. Savings plans often are a flat fee, much like a co-pay. For top tier drugs, this could be a savings of hundreds. Manufacturers want consumers using their prescription, so offering a discount is a great marketing method.
- Drug Manufacturer discounts can be found directly on their websites.
Take the time to shop around, especially if you are filling prescriptions each month. The costs might not seem substantial, but over time these costs add up quickly. Use the savings for something more exciting than prescriptions, like band aids and nail polish.
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