Has your insurance stopped covering a particular prescription drug that you need? Are you trying to get by paying for important medications without any medical coverage? If you are in either of these situations, you already know how quickly costs can add up. What you may not realize yet is that you can earn yourself significant prescription savings each month by following one simple tip: shop around.
In 2013, Consumer Reports ran an experiment that many prescription users should take note of. They had secret shoppers call a wide range of pharmacies located all over the US in order to gauge the price range of five very popular drugs that had recently been made available in generic form. What was the result? There were definitely savings to be found by shopping around. In fact, in one case the difference between the highest and lowest price was $749!
In the Consumer Reports study, Costco was found to have the best prices on the drugs they looked at. While some smaller independent pharmacies and grocery pharmacies had lower prices on one or two of the prescriptions, they also sometimes had much higher prices on others. Chain pharmacies like CVS and Rite Aid were found to have the worst average prices.
More Ways to Save
In addition to shopping around and choosing the right pharmacy for your particular needs, you should follow five simple tips.
1. Choose generic
If your prescription is available in a generic alternative, you could be looking at massive savings. Ask your doctor if there is a generic version of your drug.
2. Ask for the cheapest option
In many cases, a prescription shopper does not receive the lowest price possible from their pharmacy. If you do not specifically ask for the cheapest option, you run a higher risk of receiving the more expensive brand medication when it is not necessary.
3. Get bigger refills
Pharmacies want to incentivize their customers to take out bigger refills on their medications. That can mean sizable discounts for people willing to load up on 90-day refills instead of the more common 30-day variety. Spending a little more upfront can mean spending a lot less in the long run.
4. Explore rural pharmacies
For whatever reason, urban pharmacies often charge more than their rural counterparts. By taking a little extra time to drive out to more remote areas, you can save hundreds of dollars.
5. Utilize discount programs
While chain pharmacies do often charge more, they may also have better discount programs. If a big box or national pharmacy is the best, or only, option for your particular situation, make sure you read up on their generic drug offerings, their refill discounts, and more.