Americans spend more on prescription drugs than any other country in the world for several reasons. The entrepreneurial spirit of American healthcare is one reason, but this also means new drugs come onto the market in America more often than any other country. Between 2009 and 2014, 45 new cancer drugs were approved in America by the FDA, while 26 were approved in the UK, 19 in France, 13 in Canada, and 11 in Australia. With so many new drugs flooding the market, it’s important to know how to save money on where you can. Here are five tips on how to save money on prescription drugs.
1. Go generic
This is one of the easiest ways to save money on expensive prescription drugs. Generic drugs are often just as effective as their name-brand counterparts, but usually dozens, if not hundreds, of dollars less expensive. Ask your doctor if there is a generic version of your prescription drug available.
2. Order by mail
If you’d rather have your prescriptions delivered to you instead of waiting in line at the pharmacy, you may want to order your prescriptions by mail. Prescriptions ordered by mail are often filled at deep discounts in larger quantities so you have to get them refilled less often. However, there are drawbacks with ordering online. The greatest drawback is miscommunication which can result in prescriptions arriving late or in the wrong dosage. If you order by mail, make sure you communicate with your mail-order program weeks before you’ll need the medication.
3. Use a network pharmacy
Your preferred pharmacy might not always be the cheapest option for you. Some Medicare plans have preferred pharmacies where you will pay less for your prescription drugs. It’s wise to call your insurance plan and ask which pharmacies are in-network so you don’t pay more for your prescription drugs.
4. Use discount cards
If you don’t have insurance, discount cards could be a life-saver. These are often found at doctor’s offices, health clinics, and pharmacies and used to provide discounts to those without insurance.
5. Shop around
One prescription that costs $13 at Sam’s Club could cost $242 at Kmart. With such drastic differences in pharmacy pricing, it’s important to shop around so you get the best deal, especially if you don’t have insurance or certain drugs aren’t covered by your plan.
Visit the MedicareWorld archives for more information about prescription drugs.