Even with a prescription plan, prescription medicines can be expensive. Here are some tips from the ThriftyFun community about saving money on prescriptions. Feel free to post your own advice below.
Many people don't know this, but their prescription plan may include a mail in option. Ours did and we got a 3 months supply at the same price we paid for a 1 month supply at the pharmacy. For our plan, shipping was free as long as you planned in advance and could wait 7-10 days for the script to come.
I'm with Kaiser Permanete and we have a mail order pharmacy. They send a three month supply for two copays (one free month). I just have to call them when I need the refill. They are very fast, usually only a couple of days. I can always go to the main pharmacy in an emergency but it is great for recurring meds.
Walmart also is offering good deals on generic prescriptions - $6 I believe - even available online at www.walmart.com - I am not a fan of theirs - but this is a good program. And I recently saw a deal on a 3 month supply of prescriptions through Walgrens - I believe it was $12 something for a 3-month supply.
You can also appeal to the drug companies themselves for free or reduced price drugs through their drug programs. And always ask your doctor if he/she has any samples available - or ask about the price of the prescription. Most doctors won't think about price unless they are alerted to the fact that this could be a problem. And one last thing - check out the introductory deals available through drug company promotions - like a week of Ambien CR for free with an md's prescription. Every little bit helps.
I have also had success with adding homeopathic and herbal remedies to my regime - not to mention lots of vitamins. Better to prevent problems first!
First, ask your doctor whether the generic version is acceptable for you. It's always cheaper. My Prevacid was $150 per month, but the generic form, omeprazole, is under $10.
Second, shop at a superstore or warehouse store where they have $4 prescriptions on some medicines. In our area, that would be Walmart and Costco. I have heard that Smith's and Walgreen's do, but I can't verify that.
Third, see if you can get 90 day supplies ordered for the medicines you will be on for a long time. If you have a Part D carrier, your savings will be huge. Instead of paying the co-pay every month or 12 times per year, you only pay it four times a year. Even if you do not have Part D, you will save the dispensing fee that is tacked onto every prescription.
Fourth, charge it with a charge card that pays a reward. Even if it is only 1%, it beats a kick in the pants!
Fifth, pay your whole credit card balance off each month on the same day as the bill arrives, so you won't have to pay interest, which would negate all your carefully planned savings.
I'm with Kaiser Permanete and we have a mail order pharmacy. They send a three month supply for two copays (one free month). I just have to call them when I need the refill. They are very fast, usually only a couple of days. I can always go to the main pharmacy in an emergency but it is great for recurring meds. (05/01/2009)
Just got a free sample of Zyrtec (which used to be available only w/prescription) - so watch out if your drugs become OTC. If they still work - use coupons/deals/sales to get best price - and look for generic versions - even cheaper. (05/01/2009)
I called around to Wal-Mart, near ($450) ,Longs,Rite-Aid,etc to compare prices on Ambien. I was amazed of the difference in cost. Rite -Aid ( has a AAA discount in case you didn't know it) was cheaper at $179.00.( At that time they were MFG. in Ohio, Origin, France)
Now for the kicker. Costco will not give you a price over the phone, so when I was there I went back to the Pharmacy to ask them....$21.75 for 100 tablets?
And one other interesting fact they are coming from India,(Slovania?- Kaiser),Wal-mart(Jordan) etc. Seems to me that someone is making a HUGE profit since these are generic drugs. And how do we know what they are putting in the meds that we are importing? I'm referring to the TV program a few years ago saying some companies were using the white powdery chalk like stuff in drywall to cut the drugs they are making. Just be aware and ASK what country of origin your meds are made in.( If you care) Peel back the pharmacy label if you have a bottle from the MFG.and look to see for yourself.
Even here I called one of the MFG. in West Virgina making Ambien to ask them If they were making the drug there,She said "Oh yes". I then asked her if they knew WHERE the ingredients were from and after a long pause, she said No, we don't know where some of the ingredients comes from. It is a sad fact that we are at the mercy of so many other countries now. GG Vi (05/23/2009)
I would never consider ordering my medicine. Some things are okay to be cheap or save on but somethings are not. Your health is not! I love being able to go to my pharmacy and talk to him about my medicine and I don't think it would be fair if you didn't get your medicine from him. Also I use him as my second person when the doctor gives me a new medicine, I check to make sure that medicine is alright to take with the rest of my medicines. I had that to happen, the doctor prescribe a medicine and it was not right with the rest of my medicine. Doctors are human and do make mistakes unfortunately. (05/23/2009)
By Teresa Kay
This is a post I did here several months ago. Just a note, someone posted some drugs are coming from foreign countries. Well, today that is common. No matter what pharmacy you use, there is a good chance some of the drugs you buy are manufactured in a foreign country. Just like anything else today, companies are going abroad to manufacture products because of the cheap cost of labor. Many of the big US drug companies have manufacturing plants abroad.
The HUGE benefit of using Costco's pharmacy for generic drugs is for most prescriptions, pay by cash, not your insurance! My wife's and my blood pressure medication costs $15 for a one month supply of 30 pills, for a three month supply, $30 for 90 pills using our insurance. At Costco, 100 of these pills paid by cash costs only $8.42. That is a huge savings. A few other generic prescriptions I have filled there have the same cost savings. AND, you don't even have to go to Costco to get these prescriptions filled! Just go to Costco.com and click on the pharmacy link and follow the instructions for mail order delivery. You start the process online, then send in your prescription order and they mail out your prescription via mail and they pay the shipping charge! You can't beat this everything!
Another low cost way to buy generic prescriptions is at Wal Mart. They cost a bit more then Costco, but not much. The downside, they don't do mail order as Costco does. And if you don't have prescription insurance, Costco's prices for many generics is even lower! Take care, Jim in Jax (05/23/2009)
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