10 techniques that could save you thousands on your prescription (Part 2)

Posted on April 3, 2014

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Yesterday, I brought you part 1 of this post on how to stay on top of your finances while remaining compliant with your prescriptions medications. Remember to keep in mind that before you adopt any of these techniques, they still have to be discussed and cleared with your primary care doctor or pharmacist since they are more familiar with your health/medication history and therefore know whats best for you. Here is the final 5 of how to save on your prescriptions:

6. Use a manufacturer coupon: If you have been prescribed a brand name medication, it is worth checking to see if the manufacturers are offering any high dollar discounts (sometimes they cover up to 100% on the first fill!). A simple search for the drug name should bring up its manufacturer website, and available coupons are usually either displayed on the home page or in a ‘how to save’ section. Print or download these coupons, and take them to your pharmacy when its time to fill your prescription.

7. Listen to your insurance: Some of the decisions your insurance company make ‘for you’, may not be convenient for you (e.g switching to  mail order, or using certain retail pharmacies), however they may cost you less in the long run because that is what they prefer. They are the piper, and unfortunately, you have to dance to their tune.  It also helps to get familiar with their formulary list  in order to identify all the drug tiers (you should have already been provided with this, but you can also call their customer service to request one). Again just like the pharmacy generic list, it is a good idea to have this list handy whenever you have a doctor visit.

8. Ask for a price-match: You have nothing to lose, the worst the pharmacist can say is “no”. In order not to lose you to competition, most pharmacies will gladly match a prescription price if it is above their cost price (so that they are not making a loss themselves). This is a courtesy, and is mostly done at the discretion of the operating pharmacist.

9. Take responsibility: Some pharmacies have a very efficient refill process which automatically refills your prescriptions when it detects that you are running low. However, if your medications are only being used ‘as needed’, you may not need a refill at that particular time. While it is our responsibility to do all we can to keep you compliant, it is your responsibility to make sure you are not picking up medications you don’t need. During pick-up, always do through every single medication to make sure they are what you actually need and not what the doctor’s office has called in as a ‘routine refill’.

10. Use prescriptions assistant programs: This can be done by simply visiting http://www.pparx.org (or call 1-888-477-2669) which helps patients find discounts from several pharmaceutical companies. Some companies require you to qualify financially and the eligibility process usually takes a while, so some effort and patience is needed on your part. Once approved, the company usually sends several months of your prescription at a time.

Are you (not) using any of these techniques? Talk to me in the comments!

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