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These tried and true strategies can lower your prescription drug bills

Prescription medication can be expensive, but there are safe systems in place to help Americans buy reliable medications at lower prices.

Saving at the Doctor’s Office

Lower cost medications can start at the doctor’s office. Generic medications are typically just as effective as their name­brand alternatives and they can save patients substantial money. If a generic drug is not a good alternative, medical practices can sometimes help patients by giving them samples from pharmaceutical companies.

Saving at Local Pharmacies

Many consumers are not aware that prices for medications differ from pharmacy to pharmacy, city to city, and state to state. Because prices vary, it makes sense to research drug prices at local pharmacies in person and online. WeRX.org, LowestMed.com, and GoodRX.com help patients compare prices among brick and mortar pharmacies in their own neighborhoods and across the country. Patients can also benefit from developing a relationship with a single pharmacy. People taking multiple prescription drugs can take their entire list of medications to local pharmacies or call them to find the best total price at one pharmacy. There are other potential savings: many pharmacies offer seniors who are 65 or older a 10% discount on their prescriptions, and sometimes pharmacies offer a discount to patients purchasing a 90-­day supply of medicine instead of a 30­-day supply. 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.

Saving Safely with Online Pharmacies

Online pharmacies make it possible for consumers to compare prices and buy products without ever leaving home, but it’s vital that patients order from safe, licensed American pharmacies. The National Association of Board of Pharmacy (NABP) maintains a list of pharmacies that protect patient privacy and security, ensure quality and provide meaningful consultation between patients and pharmacists. These pharmacies display a Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) seal on their websites.

Prescription Assistance

Prescription assistance programs help patients who can’t afford their medications to receive safe, reliable drugs at substantial discounts. NeedyMeds, Medicine Assistance Tool, and RX Outreach are all non­-profits that maintain information about these programs. NeedyMeds also offers a drug discount card, which can save uninsured or underinsured patients up to 80% on the cost of their medications.

Learn how to identify an authentic licensed pharmacy from a fake pharmacy website

When looking to save money online, only purchase from VIPPS approved pharmacies which are licensed in the state in which they practice and which only offer FDA approved medications. If the price seems to good-to-be-true, you are probably getting adulterated, counterfeit, non-FDA approved or otherwise fake medications. Learn more about how to identify fake pharmacy websites and download a poster to share.

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