Saving Money at the Pharmacy

Many Americans all across the nation are struggling to afford the high cost of their prescription medications. In the past few years, this has been a growing concern for people all over the country just like you. There are a number of factors that lead to the expensive costs of medications, but pharmaceutical companies being allowed to set their own prices is the biggest contributing factor.

Unfortunately, there are currently no federal guidelines or regulations that are in place to prevent these companies from charging high amounts for their medications. Since some medications are essential for certain customers to stay healthy, they have no choice but to pay these high prices.

One of the reasons why drug companies have so much control over the prices of drugs is because in the United States they are allowed to patent their new drugs for a period of time as long as 20 years. This means that the drug company that produces a patented drug will be able to maintain total control over the distribution of the drug.

During this time period, competitors are not permitted to create equivalent medications that do not allow for competition in the market to drive drug prices down. Fortunately, there are many ways that customers can save money at the pharmacy when purchasing medications. Some of the best ways to save at the pharmacy are listed below.

Applications for Saving on Prescriptions

It may not occur to many people, but you can actually shop around for discounts on your prescription medication, especially if you have insurance. However, you should be aware of the pricey medication copayments that you may have to pay through your insurance. You can often find a better price on your medications if you decide to shop around.

In some cases, your medications may not be covered by your insurance at all, so it is especially important to shop around for the best price. One tool that can help you get the best prices is prescription savings apps.

Prescription savings apps are used to create lists of data ono the prices for drugs in local pharmacies and sometimes they may include information about online prescription medication sellers. A few ways that these applications can be beneficial include:

  • Sending alerts when there are generic alternatives to pricey name brand medications.
  • Allowing you to access charts of visual pills so that you can look and verify that you are receiving the proper medications.
  • Provide you with the ability to search for the appropriate drugs and medications based on specific conditions you may have.
  • Assisting you in locating nearby pharmacies.

Discount Cards for Pharmacies

Another helpful way to garner savings while shopping for medications is by utilizing the pharmacy discounts offered at various locations. Pharmacy discount cards are used to offer customers like you discounts on medications and a few additional perks on occasion.

These discount cards generally function similarly to coupons and can be used to deduct a specified amount of money from the cost of your medication purchases. Some discount cards may come in the form of plastic cards similar to credit cards while others may simply be paper printouts or digital barcodes. Some popular types of discount cards include:

  • Cards offered to be paired or utilized in conjunction with national organization memberships such as the AARP.
  • State medication discount cards offered by businesses that work alongside pharmacies to provide customers with discounts.
  • Discount cards provided by nonprofit organizations and other independent organizations or companies.
  • Rewards discount cards offered to customers who are loyal to a particular pharmacy franchise and choose to shop there frequently.

Many customers may find interest in the rewards cards offered by pharmacy franchises, especially if they visit that pharmacy often. Customers can use their rewards cards to find savings on various prescriptions in addition to other purchases made within the pharmacy chain.

In some cases, discount cards may not be tied to a particular franchise and can be used in a wide range of locations. Customers can call the companies offering these discount cards to ask where they can be utilized.

Pharmacy discount cards that are legitimate are typically going to be free for customers to obtain and use. This is advantageous because customers have the chance to obtain a few different discount cards from several sources in order to maximize their savings.

Using multiple discount cards is recommended for customers who are taking several medications on a consistent basis. The discounts available with these cards can vary, and the same medications may not always be covered by the savings. Take advantage of the savings by combining multiple different discounts when you are purchasing medications.

Purchasing Generic Medications as Affordable Alternatives

Another popular method to save money when purchasing medications is by purchasing generic medications as affordable alternatives. Many people have concerns about safety or quality when it comes to purchasing generic drugs, but they are just as safe to use as brand name drugs.

All medications that are manufactured in the United States are required to receive approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before they can be sold. Therefore, generic medications are generally just as safe and effective as their name-brand counterparts. A few ways that the FDA measures the qualities of generic drugs is by assessing characteristics such as:

  • Form.
  • Dosage.
  • Administration technique.
  • Performance.
  • Strength.
  • Quality.
  • Safety level.

In order to receive approval from the FDA for safe sale, generic drugs are required to meet the standards in each of those fields. Additionally, the active ingredients in generic medications must match those of their name-brand alternatives. Unfortunately, not all medications have generic alternatives because companies are not allowed to produce generic alternatives to drugs until patents on the original medications have expired or are negated for legal reasons.

However, customers will find that the generic medications that currently exist tend to be far cheaper than those sold by brand name companies. In some cases, insurance companies may only cover either the name-brand or generic version of a medication, so be sure to check with your insurer before purchasing.