Prescription Medication Savings
Cheaper Prescription by Taking Two
Here's a tip that I discovered accidentally. My wife is diabetic. Although insulin can be purchased without a prescription, insurance won't cover it that way. Her insulin costs about $23 a bottle, but my deductible is $20! I thought that it was hardly worth the effort until one day her doctor wrote the prescription for two vials. I still paid $20, but she got twice as much insulin.
Obviously, this trick won't work with all medications, but ask your doctor if she can double the quantity, especially if it's for a chronic illness, such as diabetes. If you don't ask, you won't get it!
Cheap Prescriptions Through Drug Rebates
I recently learned that many of my family's prescription medications offer coupons and/or rebates. All it took was about five minutes of my time to find the prescriptions' websites and fill out forms. The easiest way to find the website was for me to type the prescription name into GoogleŽ. Then, on the official drug site, there is often coupon/rebate information on the homepage. Allegra is currently offering $140 in coupons and Protonix is offering a $30 rebate. This can really add up!
Prescription Assistance Programs
I work for a doctor's office, and there is a website that you can go to called NeedyMeds.com that has most drug programs listed. You just click on the drug name and it shows you the company that makes the drug and their phone number, address, and website. They have downloads for the patient assistance program forms or the number to call to get the forms. Then you just take it to your doctor to fill out or give the website address to your doctor. They also have information on other patient assistance programs. The site is real easy to use, and I get most of my mother's medication this way.
Tips for Cheap Prescriptions
I work in a doctor's office. Here are some ideas we pass on to patients:
- We give out samples when we have them. All newly marketed drugs that can be written for prescription are sampled for some period of time. If your doctor doesn't take samples from the pharmaceutical companies, ask the secretary if there is another doctor of the same or similar specialty nearby who they can call for you to give you samples.
- Break pills in half. Ask the doctor if this is okay and he can write a prescription for double your dose. You save a lot this way whether or not you have a co-pay.
- Check online to order medications from Canada. You can fax your prescriptions to them. This is not a cheap fax ($15 last time we did it and we no longer do it for patients), but since you will save a lot on the cost of the meds, it's worth the cost of the fax which you can have done at Kinko's and similar stores.
Saving by Paying Cash on Prescriptions
I, too, have learned some of the tricks at the pharmacy. Having a small business and a member of the family with a pre-existing condition, my family has no health insurance. We pay cash for our prescriptions.
Recently, we found that the pharmacy charges a minimum $18 for dispensing the pills. So whether it was for 5, 10, 20 or 30 pills, the cost was $18. We had our physician change the order to 30 so that it was the best bargain. Ask questions and you learn much.
Also, we shop the Internet for diabetic supplies and have found test strips for as much as $12 less than the best price locally. It is worth the $2 shipping, and you get them delivered to your door.
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