5 Tips on How to Save Money on Prescription Drugs

In the first five years of the Affordable Care Act, some 20 million previously uninsured Americans were able to find and obtain health insurance.

Since 2017, however, the number of Americans who do not have health insurance has begun to creep back up. If you are among those who struggle to afford medical care and prescription medications, you need to know how to save money on prescription drugs.

To that end, the following list of tips has been compiled to assist.

1. Talk to Your Doctor 

Your first opportunity to save on medication starts long before you are standing at the pharmacy check-out counter. When you visit your primary care physician, tell your doctor about your situation. They may very well have samples from the pharmaceutical companies they can give you. Or they might be able to prescribe a different dosage. For example, if you take 50 mg of a particular medication, they might prescribe the 100 mg version — which costs the same as the lower dose — and tell you to break each tablet in half.

2. Shop Around 

Would it surprise you to learn that prescription costs aren't standard? Just as with groceries or clothing prices, some places charge more than others. Spend an hour or so calling local pharmacies and asking their price for the meds you take. You might be able to lower the amount you pay for prescriptions each month simply by going to a different drugstore or big-box store.

3. Don't Forget About Supermarkets 

The majority of supermarkets and warehouse clubs (think Costco or Sam's Club) have in-house pharmacies. Often, their prices are competitive, simply because few people stop in to get a script filled without also picking up a gallon of milk, a rotisserie chicken, or a frozen pizza for that night's dinner. If you can avoid making impulse purchases, you can save a lot of money by using these pharmacies.

4. Look Into Patient Assistance 

All of the major pharmaceutical companies have patient assistance programs. Contact them — often there are simple forms you can fill out on the drug maker's websites — to see if you qualify. Sometimes they can provide you with free medication; other times, patients get a significant discount that allows them to afford their medications.

5. Head to the Internet 

Ever heard of GoodRx? This website offers coupons that can drastically slash the price of drugs. Comparison shop on their site, then print out a coupon to show at the pharmacy counter. Or download the app to streamline the process. Take a few minutes to search the internet; there are other similar sites as well. Depending on the medication you take, buying online might also be an option. Be sure you're dealing with a reputable online pharmacy if you choose to go this route, however.

Know How to Save Money on Prescription Drugs 

When you know how to save money on prescription drugs, you will feel empowered and less anxious about going to the pharmacy. While it is not ideal to be without health insurance, it doesn't have to mean the end of your medication. Do you have any tips for saving money on health care costs? Share them in the comments!

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