When money is scarce and the budget is tight, there are often a few things that can be sacrificed until the cash flow increases. But when it comes to sacrifices, prescription medication should never be on the list.
Those who need prescription medication to treat a health condition shouldn’t have to worry about being able to obtain the medication they need. Yet monthly prescriptions can reach into the hundreds of dollars and place consumers in a position of financial stress.
Although it’s not wise to sacrifice on prescription meds to cope with a tight budget, there are ways to save money on doctor-prescribed medicines.
Prescription medication is important for the health but can be hard on the wallet.
Tips for Saving Money on Prescription Medications
- Go Generic – People who need prescription medication on a regular basis can benefit from using generic substitutes. To ask for a generic version at the pharmacy, the individual must first get approval from their physician. Once the doctor says that generic substitutes are okay, a savings of 30 to 80 percent over the regular price can be incurred. Likewise, some insurance companies ask for smaller co-pays when the insured uses generic substitutes.
- Inquire About Over-the-Counter Substitutes – Some medications that used to be offered exclusively with a prescription are now also available in over-the-counter form. It never hurts to ask a physician or pharmacist if such a medication exists, as this option can save a great deal of money. Those suffering from allergies, reflux, or chronic ulcers can often use over-the-counter drugs to effectively treat their condition. Before switching to an over-the-counter medication, the person should always consult their physician.
- Order Online – Ordering prescription medication online offers a few different savings possibilities. One way to save online is to buy a prescription in larger quantities. If it’s a medication the person will be taking for a long time, buying in bulk can reduce the per-dose price. Also, some online pharmacies offer incentives and extras, such as discounts or free products with a purchase of a certain amount.
- Ask the Doctor for Samples – Most physicians are given medication samples from the pharmaceutical salespeople that frequent their office. If a tight budget will make it nearly impossible to obtain the medication needed, it doesn’t hurt to ask the doctor or nurse if samples are available. Although these can’t be relied upon as a long-term solution, they can provide short-term relief.
- Look into Company or Pharmacy Discounts – Pharmaceutical companies occasionally offer discounts to ensure that people are able to get the medication they need. Likewise, a person’s pharmacy might know of discounts the individual would qualify for. Before paying full price, people who need prescription medication should ask around to see if any discounts are available.
The pharmacy is a much friendlier place when medication is affordable.
Enjoy Long-Term Savings
These methods can be combined and interchanged to continue enjoying savings on prescription medication. An individual’s doctor or healthcare staff can become an ally in helping to find creative ways to save money on necessary medication.
written by: Mary Ylisela