Patients may not understand that generic medication is therapeutically equivalent to brand name medication. Generics offer a affordable and safe option that all patients should discuss with their pharmacist. Additionally, there are prescription assistance programs available to help those who are struggling to pay for the medications they need.

According to WBRC, if you have concerns about the cost of your medications, the first thing you should do is to speak with your local pharmacist. Ask them if a generic form of the drug is available. If there is not, it is a good idea to check with the manufacturer. They frequently offer patient assistance programs.

There are also several non-profit groups that can help you as well:

  • NeedyMeds is a non-profit that provides information on programs that provide prescription medication and healthcare cost financial assistance. All information is available at no charge and without registration.
  • Medicine Assistance Tool works with uninsured and underinsured patients to get free or nearly free prescription medicines through existing patient assistance programs at no cost to the individual.
  • RxAssist has a current and comprehensive directory of patient assistance programs run by pharmaceutical companies to provide free medications to people who cannot afford to buy their medicine.
  • Center for Benefits help organizations enroll seniors and younger adults with disabilities with limited means into the benefits programs for which they are eligible so that they can remain healthy and improve the quality of their lives.
  • RxOutreach is a non-profit pharmacy whose mission is to provide affordable medications.

Start by talking to your local pharmacist. If a generic is not available and you do not qualify for any assistance programs, your last resort should be to purchase your medication from an online pharmacy but be careful. It is very difficult to distinguish between a legitimate and illegitimate online pharmacy.

A legitimate online pharmacy will have a  VIPPS seal of approval or a web address that ends in .pharmacy. All of these pharmacies have received verification from the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, a nonprofit association made of the legitimate boards of pharmacy in all 50 US states, Canada and other countries, that all of the medications they sell are safe and legitimate.