Currently in the United States, prescription drugs cost a lot higher than anywhere else in the developed world. It can be a major burden on many Americans, especially those who rely on certain drugs to keep them alive. Diabetics and people with severe allergies couldn’t survive without their medications.
The average American pays somewhere around $1,200 each year for their prescription drugs. Seniors often pay more as the cost of drugs is only expected to go up in the future. This is according to data from several major study projections that expect drug costs to rise 6% per year through 2027. This is as many Americans are fighting for free healthcare.
If you’re struggling to buy prescription drugs for yourself or for a loved one, here are 5 ways to save money on these drugs:
1) Get Generic Drugs
Many of us don’t know the full dynamic between doctors and the drugs they prescribe. They don’t realize that mega pharmaceutical companies can have doctors in their back pockets. They’ll actually reward them for prescribing the expensive name brands. To counter this, all you have to do is tell your doctor that you’re on a budget and just want generics. Don’t be afraid to tell your doctor that you’re limited financially and they can help find a pathway of treatment that can fit your budget and lifestyle.
2) Split Your Pills in Half
Depending on the types of medications you get, you can try cutting them in half. It might sound strange, but it will ultimately save you money. Ask for a higher dose and use a pill cutter to cut the pills in half and you’ve just saved yourself half of your medication budget. This is one trick a lot of seniors are doing to make their medications last as long as possible.
3) Use Apps, Cards, and Membership Plans
A lot of the bigger pharmacies around the country, like CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens, each have their own membership card program that can help you save money on your prescriptions, as well as other items in the store. There are many apps out there as well, like GoodRx and WellRx that will highlight the costs of individual drugs and tell you their prices at different stores so you can compare price your medications, making it easier on you.
4) Get Drug Coupons
Yes, drug coupons do exist! As well as trying to get your doctor to push the expensive, name brand drugs, the pharmaceutical companies will also send your doctor coupons! Again, don’t be afraid to tell your doctor that you’re struggling financially. They will most likely do whatever they can to help you get the medications and treatment you need at a better price you can afford.
5) Use a Non-Profit or Assistance Program
Your area, especially if you live in a low-income town or city, might have some prescription drug assistance programs in your area. There may even be federally mandated assistant programs for you to choose from, like NeedyMeds, the Patient Advocate Foundation, and The Partnership for Prescription Assistance.