American patients can save money on their prescriptions and still stay safe
Americans are searching for less expensive medication, but also want assurance that the drugs they rely on are safe, untainted and regulated to ensure quality.
Americans looking for better prices on prescription drugs don’t have to look far. Smart shoppers with the right information can buy what they need at a more affordable price AND avoid the serious safety risks that accompany purchasing imported medicine.
General Prescription Drug Savings Strategies
Ask About Generics
Generic drugs offer significant savings over brand name drugs. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if there are any risks to you switching from your current prescription to a generic and if a generic medicine will work for you.
When your doctor prescribes a medication, ask whether the office has any samples provided by pharmaceutical companies.
If you’re 65 years or older, many pharmacies offer a 10 percent discount off the top. Be sure to ask about it.
Ask About Variations In Days And Doses That Might Save Money
You might be able to save money by purchasing a 90-day supply of your medicine instead of a 30-day supply. Also, your doctor and pharmacist might be able to prescribe higher-dosage pills that can be split. NOTE: Never split pills without talking to your pharmacist!
Compare Prices At Brick And Mortar Pharmacies
Many consumers are not aware that prices for medications differ from pharmacy to pharmacy, city to city, and state to state. Websites like GoodRX.com help patients compare prices among brick and mortar pharmacies in their own neighborhoods and across the country.
Patients taking multiple prescription drugs should take their entire list of medications to local pharmacies or call them to find the best total price at one pharmacy. It may take some time, but it is worth the wait. Using one pharmacy and developing a relationship with your pharmacist is the safest way to check for drug interactions, duplications and possible side effects—and get the best value for your money.
The Key To Safe Online Shopping
Several websites make it possible to compare prices and buy products without ever leaving home. However, the Internet has also made it easy for unscrupulous people to sell counterfeit and unapproved drugs to unsuspecting customers. Buying online demands that consumers exercise a tremendous amount of caution.
If you are going to search for pharmacies on the web, always start by going to the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) Web page at www.vipps.info. Web sites with the VIPPS seal protect patient privacy, ensure authentication and security of orders, offer quality assurance and provide meaningful consultation between patients and pharmacists.
Another sure sign that a pharmacy is legitimate? Any pharmacy that has a web address that ends in .pharmacy has been thoroughly vetted by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. You can be sure that .pharmacy websites are selling safe medicines.
Prescription Assistance Programs
Patients don’t have to turn to questionable online sellers to get the medications they need. There are hundreds of assistance programs to help patients obtain medications. These programs provide a safe alternative for patients who cannot afford to fill their prescriptions.
National Conference Of State Legislatures
Many states have programs that will give you discounts on prescription drugs, often for free. Visit safedr.ug/stateaidprogramsto learn more about state pharmaceutical assistance programs.
NeedyMeds is a nonprofit organization that maintains a website, NeedyMeds.com, of free information about programs that help people afford their medications and healthcare costs. The site offers the NeedyMeds drug discount card, which can save uninsured or underinsured patients up to 80% on the cost of their medications. The site offers a directory of prescription assistance programs and manufacturer’s coupons.
Partnership For Prescription Assistance
The Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) helps match patients who cannot afford medication to prescription assistance programs that provide free or nearly free medicines to eligible patients. There are no charges associated with using PPA and almost all of the programs in our database offer their services free of charge. PPA offers a single point of access to more than 475 public and private patient assistance programs, including more than 180 programs offered by pharmaceutical companies. Visit www.pparx.orgfor information.
Rx Outreach is a prescription assistance program for more than 55 pharmaceutical companies managed by Express Scripts Specialty Distribution Services, Inc. (ESSDS), a fully-licensed mail order pharmacy. The program offers prescription generic medicines to uninsured individuals and families, as well as those who have limited prescription drug coverage. Visit www.rxoutreach.comor call 1-800-769-3880 to see if you qualify.