Prescription medications may be a need in your everyday life that stretches your budget to its limit. However, there are many ways that you can save money on your prescriptions each month.
Ask For Samples
It’s important to talk with your doctor regarding your medications and your finances. Once the need for a prescription has been established, ask your doctor if there are any samples you can try. This may be a possibility if you’re visiting your primary care doctor, a specialist, or your dental professional. “There are many situations where dental patients need to take specific medications,” states Dr. Derek Conklin, DMD, a dentist in Sandy, Oregon. “Patients may be able to get samples, especially if the need for the medication is short-term.”
There are two ways to split medication in order to save extra money on medications each month. Consult with your doctor before trying either one – his or her professional opinion will help keep you safe. The first way to split pills is quite literal. After talking with your doctor, obtain a prescription for a double dose of medication. Then, using a pill-splitter from your local pharmacy, physically cut the pills in half. How does this save money? For example, imagine that you need to take 15 mg. of Abilify each day. Abilify might cost $100 for a month’s supply of 15 mg. tablets, but a month’s supply of the same tablets at a dosage of 30 mg. costs the same. By splitting the 30 mg. pills in half, you save half because the 30 mg. prescription will last for two months instead of only one. The second way to split pills is to avoid medications known as “Combo Pills.” These medications combine more than one medication into a single pill. For example, Lotrel is a blood pressure combo pill that costs $70 a month (generic). However, if you get a prescription for each component, you save a huge amount of money. The 30-day prescriptions of the two elements that make up Lotrel – Amlodipine and Benazepril – are $6 each, which is a cost of $12 total.
Patient Assistance Programs
Patient Assistance Programs – also called PAPs – are provided by pharmaceutical companies for people who cannot afford their medications. Generally this service is available for medications that don’t have a generic equivalent, but it’s worth the effort to find out if you qualify. One way to determine if a Patient Assistance Program is right for you is to look on the web. NeedyMeds.org is a valuable online resource that helps people manage their costs for medication and health care.
Buy In Bulk
I recently picked up a prescription from my pharmacy that felt quite a bit heavier than in the past, but my copay was the same. My doctor had prescribed a 120-day supply of my medication versus the 30-day supply that I was used to picking up each month. I quickly realized the monetary savings – my copay had been the same, but I had received four times the amount of pills! Talk with your doctor about the possibility of receiving pills in larger quantities in order to save on the amount of money you spend per prescription.
Prices for medications of all kinds vary depending on the pharmacy. One of the best ways to narrow down which one offers the best price for what you need is to call three to five local pharmacies and check their prices for your specific medication. You’ll need to provide the name and dosage of the medication. To save even more, ask if there’s a generic equivalent for your medication, and write down how much prescriptions cost for 30, 60 and 90 day supplies. Another option is to look online – PharmacyChecker.com outlines a prescription’s total cost, the price per pill, shipping costs, and countries of operation.
You shouldn’t have to choose between necessary medications and other bills each month. These money-saving strategies will help you get what you need without destroying your budget.
Kelly Wilson is a busy mom and freelance writer. For more information about how prescription medications are used in dentistry, contact Dr. Derek Conklin, DMD, a dentist in Sandy, Oregon.