Managing Rising Prescription Costs
Any individual that regularly takes medications knows that routinely filling prescriptions can get expensive. Even for people that have health insurance, costs can quickly add up. Whether living on a fixed budget or simply trying to afford a decent standard of living, working with local pharmacies can aid in easing rising costs. Consider speaking with a pharmacist to make prescriptions more affordable.
1. Shop around
Unlike traditional consumer goods, prescription medications didn’t historically advertise prices before a customer headed to the checkout counter. However, these days, shopping around is possible. Whereas some big box retailers or grocery stores can’t adjust pricing for people on a sliding income scale, many independent pharmacists can. Consumers can save money by shopping around since research suggests that drug prices can vary widely within a single zip code. When budgets are tight, don’t assume that a big box store is a better deal.
2. Go generic when possible
To be clear, not all prescriptions can be swapped for a generic option. Sometimes, the formula may be just different enough to be ineffective for certain people or conditions. However, choosing the generic option over a name brand can reap significant savings when possible. Pharmacists can aid in confirming that alternative medications are not only effective and safe for a patient’s condition but also covered by insurance.
3. Pharmaceutical assistance programs
Another way to save money is by joining a patient assistance program. Many pharmaceutical manufacturers provide solutions to offer free or low-cost medications to individuals in financial need. The programs are often provided on a need-based expectation, meaning that a person must provide financial information or be enrolled in a federal or state-based insurance plan to qualify. Searching for such programs can be time-consuming for consumers, but pharmacists often know which manufacturers offer subsidies for certain medications.
Additional ways to save
These days, finding a deal on prescriptions isn’t as hard as in the past and may not even require physically visiting different pharmacies for the best deal. Online sourcing, as well as prescription discount apps for mobile phones, make the discovery process easier. Remember that these solutions aren’t always limited to big box retailers, grocery stores, or chain pharmacies. Also note that in many scenarios, these discount prescription services can offer better deals even for people with prescription coverage insurance.
Speak up and save money
Pharmacists are dedicated to helping individuals, whether by explaining how to properly take medication or providing consistent access to prescriptions when needed. However, the onus is still on the consumer to speak up. Don’t suffer financially or opt not to take medication because a prescription is too expensive. Solutions exist to help people save money, but initiating the conversation is the patient’s responsibility.