Pharmacy Discount Cards

Prescription discount cards, commonly called pharmacy discount cards, can be utilized by consumers in order to receive discounted prices on medications purchased at local pharmacies.

Customers who find that the cost of their medications is becoming expensive and unaffordable can take advantage of these pharmacy discount cards to pay for their essential medications. Even customers who are simply looking to save some money on their prescription costs can obtain pharmacy discount cards to avoid paying high prices. Saving money on prescription medications allows customers to use their money for other expenses.

According to figures established by the United States Department of Labor, the cost of drugs rose by over six percent from 2015 to 2016. Drug prices are skyrocketing, and it can quickly become an issue for many Americans who cannot afford the rising costs. In 2000, Americans paid about $25 billion for their medications, but that number is anticipated to shoot up to $67 billion by the year 2025.

One of the major reasons why drug prices have gone up so drastically is because pharmaceutical companies are permitted to set their own prices in many cases, even in generic drug alternatives. Many of these companies claim that they use the profits from these sales in order to produce new medications, but the prices can still be excessive for many consumers.

Types of Pharmacy Discount Cards

Unfortunately, doctors and pharmacists are not always able to inform their patients about drug discounts that are available. A common way that customers save money on their pricey medications is by using a pharmacy discount card. It is important to understand the different types of pharmacy discount cards because they do not all offer the same benefits.

For example, certain third-party companies offer pharmacy discount cards directly while others are distributed by state or national programs. Learn more about the various forms of pharmacy discount cards and how they can help consumers save on their medication costs.

Note: Even the best pharmacy discount cards do not work as a substitute for health insurance coverage. Although consumers can use these cards to save money, insurance is still required.

Franchise-Based Pharmacy Discount Cards

Since many popular pharmacies in the United States are successful businesses, they often offer their customers rewards and discounts for shopping at their locations. The benefits provided by these pharmacy discount cards can vary in a number of ways, but they can help customers save overall.

Many of these rewards are distributed using franchise pharmacy discount cards. For some businesses, the discount card benefits can be managed on scanned using a cellphone app. Some common benefits of franchise-based pharmacy discount cards include:

  • Cashback credits on all in-store purchases that can be used at a later date.
  • Coupons that are printable or usable on a phone app.
  • Rewards points that can be used for more in-store discounts or other offers.
  • Discounts on prescription medications.

Pharmacy Discount Cards from National Organizations

Americans all across the country also commonly receive pharmacy discount cards as a part of their membership at certain national organizations. Even certain organizations that may not necessarily be based on health can provide these pharmacy discount cards as a part of their standard membership. Two of the most popular national organizations that offer benefits like this include:

  • American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) – AARP members get access to the OptimRx program which provides them with discounts on prescription medications. Members of AARP may also have the option to share these benefits on prescriptions with their stepchildren, children or grandchildren.
  • The American Automobile Association (AAA) AAA is a car-related national program where members receive benefits such as vehicle towing and other automobile services. In some cases, AAA members will also receive prescription discounts at certain pharmacies.

Pharmacy discounts for members of AARP and AAA are directly integrated into the program. Participants will usually only be required to show their pharmacist their program membership card to receive their savings. These programs do not distribute separate discount cards for use at pharmacies.

Pharmacy Discount Cards Offered by States

In some cases, consumers may be able to obtain a pharmacy discount card directly from their state government. Certain states offer its residents with access to helpful Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs (PAPs), which can help high-need citizens pay for their expensive medications. These programs are needs-based and usually aim to assist individuals with disabilities or elderly citizens.

Residents who are eligible for their state’s Pharmaceutical Assistance Program can print out free pharmacy discount cards online from the PAP website. Some residents may be able to receive their PAP discounts directly on their cellphone through text messages. Pharmacists will provide discounted prices to customers who bring them a PAP coupon.

Other Providers of Pharmacy Discount Cards

There are a wide variety of pharmacy discount cards that consumers can receive for free from different private companies. Many of these distributors of pharmacy discount cards are nonprofit organizations that are looking to assist Americans by helping them secure lower prescription drug costs.

One incredibly popular are reputable nonprofit program for pharmacy discounts is called NeedyMeds. Customers who are interested in reducing the cost of their prescription medications can print out a temporary discount card online and fill out a request form to receive a permanent card in the mail.

In addition to savings, NeedyMeds also provides a number of helpful resources such as information about:

However, consumers should be very cautious because not all medical savings programs that are provided by private companies and nonprofit organizations are legitimate. Unfortunately, there are discount medical card scams out there that can cost customers a lot of money. Consumers should exercise caution and look for the following signs of a potential discount card scam:

  • Expensive or frequent membership charges for programs that offer pharmacy discounts (this may not apply to national programs like AAA).
  • Discounts that are not accepted by pharmacies, retailers or other medical professionals.
  • Additional fees after using a pharmacy discount card.
  • Cards being advertised as insurance or insurance replacements.