I truly recognize that prescription medicines are costly and often beyond the reach of many patients. I am often amazed at how expensive prescribed medications are and how the price is so variable from one pharmacy to another. Here are a few tricks and trips to save money on your prescription medications.
1. Price compare between pharmacies. Prices can be double and even triple from different pharmacies. Generic medicine prices vary more than branded/trademarked medicine prices.
For example a Z-pack 5 day antibiotic (generic) Costco- $11 OR Kmart- $55
Tricyclen birth control (generic) Target- $9 OR Osco- $33
Suggestion: call the pharmacies yourself and find out which one is offering the lowest price. The pharmacy tech or the pharmacist will give you the price over the phone. You need to be able to tell the pharmacist the strength and quantity of the medication.
Another idea: Take your “combo pill” as two separate pills. If you are taking a medication that is a combination of medicines, consider taking it as two separate pills. For example if you have an elnlarge prostate gland and the doctor has presicrbed a pill that combines two medications such as an alpha blocker and a pill to decrease the size of the prostate gland, you can ask the doctor to prescribe both drugs and you take two pills instead of one at a much reduced cost. If you are not sure if you are taking a “combo pill” try Googling the name to find out. Usually you can save money by taking the meds separately (even if there is a generic version of your combo med!)
Lotrel (generic) 10/20, #30 tabs – $81 per month OR amlodipine 10 mg, #30 tabs + benazepril 20 mg, #30 tabs= $8 + $6 = $14 per month.
Change the dosing schedule of your medication. If you are taking a medication that ends with “XL”, “XR”, “CD”, or “SR”- then you are probably taking a long acting, albeit expensive version of your medicine. Therefore, there is probably a short- acting generic version of your medication also available. The trade off would be that you might have to take a pill two or three times a day instead of once or twice a day but at a significant saving. If your doctor thinks this is appropriate for you, it could save you big bucks.
Rythmol SR 225 mg, #60 tabs (taken twice a day)- $367/month OR propafenone (generic Rythmol) 225 mg #100 tabs (taken three times a day)- $34/month
Bottom Line: Prescription medications are expensive. However, there are effective ways to reduce the costs without negatively impacting your health.