An article in Consumer Reports highlighted the excellent prescription drug savings available to consumers because of the generic drug discount savings programs (GDDPs) offered by many drugstores and pharmacies around the country. Many times, the cash price for these commonly used prescription drugs is lower than the copayment would be if someone were to use their health insurance. Most offer a selection of medications for only a few dollars for a 30-day supply, and a few even have some prescriptions at no cost.
Walmart runs one of the most well-known GDDPs, but additional ones, just to name a few, include Costco, RiteAid, Publix Supermarket, Sam’s Club, and Walgreens. Additionally, NeedyMeds has a searchable list that shows which stores in your state offer GDDPs, as well as some basic information on each program. In 2017, PSM found an average of 12 different generic discount drug programs available in each state in the U.S.
A study that recently appeared in the Annals of Internal Medicine showed that GDDPs are not just beneficial to people with no insurance or high copayments, but can save money for Medicare recipients too. The $4 cash payment for 27 commonly prescribed drugs on Walmarts GDDP used to treat cardiovascular disease related conditions was less than what some Medicare recipients’ copayments were. These researchers found a median 21 percent of the plans required people to pay more than $4 for the same 30-day prescription for all 27 medications across all tiers of prescription coverage. Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans (PDPs) consistently required people to spend more out of pocket than standalone PDPs, so if you are on a Medicare Advantage PDP, ask your pharmacist if they have a GDDP that can help lower your prescription costs.