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Reader Tip: BIG Savings on Prescription Drugs

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Save on Prescription Drugs

Do you purchase brand-name prescriptions often? Check out this Reader Tip from Emily:

My co-worker had to stop at the pharmacy during our lunch break. Afterward, we were talking about how expensive her family’s prescriptions were because there is not a generic version for two of them. I told her that she should look at the brand name’s website to see if they have a discount card.

She did that when we got back to our office and both brand name prescription medications had them. Best of all, they didn’t have any qualifying questions in order to qualify for it. She printed the card and returned her prescriptions to the pharmacy. They refunded her transaction and rang it up with the discount card. Instead of paying $225 for a 3 month supply, it will now only cost her $20 for 3 months. What she previously paid for a single month ($115) is more expensive than what she will pay for an entire year! On her second prescription, she will save $40 a month. 

My coworker had no idea this was possible and I assume other readers of yours could benefit from this knowledge as well. Keep in mind that some prescription medicine companies may have qualifying questions in order to qualify for a discount card but in my experience most of them do not and simply ask for your name and address.

Want more savings tips?

* Save Up to $100 on EpiPen 2-Pak
* Save Money on Getting Prescriptions Filled

Do you have other ways to save on prescription drugs? If so, share them in the comments!

 

Join The Discussion

Comments 68

  1. Jennifer

    I have had tremendous success with GoodRX. It lets you do price comparisons of the med you want in your area and provide discount cards.

      • Jennifer

        Your welcome☺️

  2. Ashley

    There is a website called GoodRX which lets you print coupons for prescriptions. It also shows you what the price will be at various pharmacies. It was surprising for me to see the cost variance for the same medication at different pharmacies. You have to print the coupon and give it to the pharmacist. Not sure if this works in conjunction with insurance or only if no insurance is applicable.

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      Thanks so much for your feedback Ashley! Good to know!

    • Brittiney

      No you can’t use any discount cards with insurance. You can only use copay cards(the brand name ones like mentioned above)

  3. Christie S

    I am a medical social worker and often use the website http://www.needymeds.com for many of my patients for cost savings cards as well as assistance programs.

    • jackie

      that is the best site ever

    • Anna

      I work with the elderly and I recommend Needy Meds as well. There are also some programs for people with specific conditions. Need Meds has a section for these as well. The income limits are often higher than you’d think and some with with insurance

    • Steve Herman

      I used to use the site too, but I discovered this site which has been so helpful! Check this out.
      This site allows you to do a pharmacy price search to find the lowest prescription prices possible in your any area. Print out or text yourself a free RxCut savings card immediately providing you access to the absolute lowest prices on your prescriptions; the lesser of the RxCut discounted price, your insurance copayment or the pharmacy cash price. Free, everyone qualifies, and no enrollment. Watch 45-second video explaining on the site. http://www.MyRxCutCard.com
      This is a program which helps those with or without insurance save on prescription medications.

  4. Ccm

    Off topic, do I use my jingle cash before manufacturers coupons when redeeming?

  5. Sarah

    You can use Costco pharmacy without a membership. They have great savings on a lot of generics. Call and ask before making a trip, but could be worthwhile.

  6. jackie

    Colin and others. go to the medicines actual website and if they have no insurance or high copays depending on your income sometimes you get for free. and if they are brand names they sometimes have discount cards.or google prescription assistance and it gives a few.I used RX outreach and http://www.needhelppayingsbills.com is another website too. and my daughter is a dr of pharmacy I will see if she can send me the list again of the major patient assistance programs. my email is jesparza12345@gmail.com in case anyone needs help searching. I have prescription coverage thru social security but some people can also qualify to get extra help from them too.one of my meds is over 500.00 a month I pay 6.00 for it. and always ask for generic if at all possible. people are scared too. they are the same exact thing.

    • Sofia

      I work for a pharma company, and I can tell you that generic is not necessarily the same thing, it is +/-20% off the reference drug, and the side effects are a lot less known.

      • spedtch95

        I know I’ve had reactions to 3 drugs. Most people don’t know this.

  7. Jill

    I do this too! But, I had to switch from generic name drug to brand name drug in order to get 100% assistance! I pay $0 for my $200/month drug.

  8. db

    Yes to everyone who mentioned GoodRx! It doesn’t always work, but I’ve gone in sometimes and been asked to pay $250 but ended up paying only $30 with GoodRx!

  9. Lyn

    I buy Vyvanse with a coupon from the manufactures website and I think I’ve bought Advair this way too. The Vyvanse coupon is good for 5 discounted refills.

  10. britt

    I work in a pharmacy and unfortunately prices are sky-rocketing because brand and generic manufacurers are increasing their prices (because they can). Goodrx and needymeds are great but what some people don’t know is some combination medications might be cheaper if you get each pill separately. Yes you will have to take two pills instead of one but it might be worth it to you. OR it might be cheaper to combine two into one so you only have to pay one copay through your insurance. Ask your pharmacist! Some examples are lisinopril-hctz, amlodipine-benazepril, metoprolol-hctz, chlorthalidone-hctz. Additionally, if you pay out of pocket with no insurance, some lower strengths are actually cheaper and you can also take 2 pills of these. Example: at my store, #60 losartan 25mg is cheaper than #30 losartan 50mg. Others I see: #60 metformin er 500mg, #60 benzonatate 100mg, #60 sertraline 50mg.
    Every pharmacy and every state is different. Ask the pharmacist, ask your doctor. YOUR DOCTOR MIGHT HAVE TO WRITE YOU A NEW PRESCRIPTION TO DO THIS.

    • britt

      #60 simvastatin 40mg over #30 simvastatin 80mg.

      Also, don’t forget pill splitting!! Phenobarbital for pets and humans is common for pill-splitting

  11. molliebair

    GoodRx can also be used on pet medications. I have a boxer with allergies and they fill her meds. I visit the vet, get the prescription and take it to a local pharmacy.

  12. Shannon

    Another prescription tip: If you shop at Meijer, be sure to sign up for their pharmacy mPerks. You get rewards like money off a purchase or discounts on gas after you fill five prescriptions. They also provide prenatal vitamins and most kids’ antibiotics for free.

  13. Victoria

    Thanks!! Another tip I learned a while back is saving on pet meds. Vets charge a ton, but often the pet medications are the same as human medication. If you have your vet write the prescription rather then filling it themselves, you can take it to Target (or wherever but it seems like Target is always cheaper for the pet meds) and save a ton.

  14. Sarah

    I give a big amen to the getting coupons off the manufacturer’s site. I save several hundred dollars a month doing this.
    Also Shopko pharmacy offers a $10 coupon for every 10 scripts you fill (even if the copay is zero)
    Hy-Vee pharmacy gives 5 cents off a gallon of gas for every Rx.

  15. Kristy

    A HUGE thank you for posting this and to the person giving this tip! I just went to the site of a prescription we use and they had a coupon on there. Something that costs us $50 would now cost $15! Even says that if the pharmacy doesn’t accept the coupon that I could do a mail in rebate. I never knew about this coupon and am soo thankful for this tip! This is a much needed savings!

    • Emily

      You’re welcome and I’m so happy that you found it useful! I’m also happy that Collin posted my story because I’m learning a lot from the other comments as well!

  16. RA

    I started getting my rx’s filled at Costco. Walgreens would charge $60 for a 60ct of my pills (with insurance). Recently, my doctor increased my rx to 90ct of pills. I brought the rx over to Costco, and it cost me $35 without using insurance (due to issues Humana had filling it). Even better, you don’t need a membership to get your rx’s filled. My mom now gets hers filled there, and she doesn’t have a membership there.

    • Steve Herman

      This site allows you to do a pharmacy price search to find the lowest prescription prices possible in your any area. Print out or text yourself a free RxCut savings card immediately providing you access to the absolute lowest prices on your prescriptions; the lesser of the RxCut discounted price, your insurance copayment or the pharmacy cash price. Free, everyone qualifies, and no enrollment. Watch 45-second video explaining on the site. http://www.MyRxCutCard.com
      This is a program which helps those with or without insurance save on prescription medications.

  17. Melissa

    I am very confused. I have insurance, but sometimes the co-pays are very high. Can you use these cards and coupons if you have insurance or only if you don’t?

    • Emily

      Yes, you can use the prescription maker’s cards with your insurance and still pay whatever copayment you have with health savings accounts if you have one. Love stacking the savings

    • britt

      The goodrx and needymeds you cannot use with insurance. You CAN use COB (coordination of benefits) cards and vouchers from brand name companies with your insuance. Read the fine print, it will say the maximum amount you can save, it will take off your copay or cash price.

      • Anna

        every program is different eventhrough sites like needy Meds. Read the rules and it usually details how each program works

  18. sporksoma

    I know not everyone has access to FSA and HSA accounts, but those can save us a little money (and I never have to worry about not having a way to pay for prescriptions!)

    Also, we use CVS for our prescriptions and we get a $5 ECB for every 10 scripts filled. This year alone we’re up to 39 (thanks, multiple chronic health problems!) and I’ve got another one to refill this week so that’s nice for us! There are better prescription rewards programs out there, though. We get discounts with our insurance if we fill via cvs.

  19. Beth

    This epipen savings card has saved hundreds of dollars over the past year. My son has treenut and peanut allergies and has to have an epipen at home, daycare and school. The retail price of the two pack is 650$! We have not paid anything for the 8 of them that we have had to trade in and out due to expiration dates in the past year. I learned about this in the past year thanks to your website Collin ! Thank you for saving us money while helping to potentially save my sons life in the event of contact with one of his allergens.

    • Hunterwoody

      How do you trade out epi pens? Mine were short dated when I purchased them. Not much I could do though.

    • riss

      Epi-pen and Auvi-Q (it’s been recalled so we’re back to Epi-pen) has $0 co-pay card so you don’t need to trade it in. I didn’t know you could trade the Epi-pen when it’s expired. And you’re right, it is expensive without insurance, $556 at Costco. We haven’t paid a cent in the past 4 years or so because of the $0 co-pay card. As long as your insurance is not by military/VA or govt – funded like Medicare or Medicaid, you should be eligible.

  20. Tina

    Melissa- we have used discount cards from the rx website then after it takes that off we pay the difference and that’s with insurance. Hth

  21. FuzzyPeach73

    Just be careful what prescription card you pick. Some rx cards function by giving you “free” or “cheap” prescriptions in exchange for the company gathering your personal prescription and medical information. Depends how much personal information you want floating around…I recommend doing your research before getting a prescription card.

  22. Dana

    Looks like I’m not the first one to find goodrx! They have an app too, my one prescription went from $114 down to $45!!

    • Steve Herman

      I discovered this site that has been so helpful!
      This site allows you to do a pharmacy price search to find the lowest prescription prices possible in your any area. Print out or text yourself a free RxCut savings card immediately providing you access to the absolute lowest prices on your prescriptions; the lesser of the RxCut discounted price, your insurance copayment or the pharmacy cash price. Free, everyone qualifies, and no enrollment. Watch 45-second video explaining on the site. http://www.MyRxCutCard.com
      This is a program which helps those with or without insurance save on prescription medications.

  23. spedtch95

    Learned this yesterday—
    I am a person with bizarre allergies to fillers in generics. I’ve had reactions to 3 drugs – asthma, afib meds and more. My pharmacy could no longer get a specific generic brand for me.

    Went to Target Pharmacy and an amazing Phatmacist looked up the pill, matched it’s markings with another generic supplier. It’s the exact same pill under another supplier! Paying $10 now instead of the other generic copay of $30.

    Same with my asthma med. Could no longer afford the brand and had reactions to the generic made in India. Found a US supplier (in Ny) of my asthma med and the pill was IDENTICAL to the brand. My friend, a pharmacist, told me she was sure it was the brand tablet sold as a generic. Again, my Target Phatmacist told me it does happen and you have to look – why she looked up the photos of the afib meds for me and found the identical, too!

    So ask your pharmacy to do this – I am now completely shocked (and thankful) that I am getting one brand at a generic copay and one identical generic under a different manufacturer.!!!! It may not work for everything but I am so thankful it has worked out for me. It’s saved me $160 in copays per month and given me safe drugs I do not react to (the fillers).

    I truly hope this helps someone. From: “CW”

  24. Nicole

    Compounding pharmacies are often cheaper too because they can create a duplicate of a med you already take. However, you want to have your doc write down the specifics of the amount and how often to take because these pharmacies are only making meds not explaining how to use them. This is one I use and I love it. I got a $569 script for $60. http://bellevuerx.com

  25. Jenna

    If you live near Publix, remember that they have several antibiotics for free as well as some diabetes and blood pressure medications (metformin and lisinopril I believe) as long as you have a prescription.

  26. JAY

    Co-pay cards are generally good for patients with commercial insurance. So if you are one of the “3 M’s” (Medicare, Medicaid, or Military–aka government programs), co-pay cards will not work for you. Also, most of them will not work for cash pay. Of course there are a few exceptions to each rule.

    Also, make sure you know the terms of your co-pay card. Some are good for 6 months, some 1 or 2 years. If you’ve exhausted the time period, you can request your doctor rx a drug from the same class of medication and then use the card for that your new med until that one is exhausted.

    Finally, most drug companies offer need-based assistance programs and some are quite generous on the qualifications. Check the company websites to find them.

    Finally, the government offers a need based program called LIS where brand name drugs are either $3.30 or $6.60.

  27. Roni

    I’m a pharmacist and as previously mentioned Publix (if you have one near you) offers amlodipine, lisinopril (plain, not with hctz), metformin, amoxicillin, Bactrim, cipro, and penicillin for free! Also, you can always call the manufacturer if you have trouble affording your medication and sometimes based on income they will supply you with a card to help with the copays. If you use restasis, they offer that. There are lots of ways to save, you just have to google the name of the medication followed by copay card/assistance.

  28. Cee

    I want to second the comment about the information you are supplying to third party companies by using the “free” drug cards that come in the mail or that you look up online. (not to be confused with the copay assistance cards). I am a pharmacist. When you use a discount card that lowers your out of pocket payment it it treated like an insurance. The companies that supply these cards receive the input of all your demographic information in addition to the medicines that you are taking. Thus, your personal health information may be sold to others. That is how they make money back. If you didn’t solicit the card, I wouldn’t use it!

  29. candie

    I don’t understand why but if you work for the government and have health insurance through them you cannot use coupons or discount codes.

    • JAY

      You can…as long as you are not Medicare, Medicaid, or Military. They provide government subsidies. You can work for the government and have commercial insurance and can use co-pay cards.

      • candie

        would you give more info. what pharmacies? I don’t know why but my sister who is not government gets a coupon from the manufacturer website and gets her med for $20. her coworker who is government cannot use it. if you have further advice. or info please email me at candielynn@live.com

        thanks

  30. Sarah

    Just an FYI if you fill 10 Rx’s at Target you get an extra 5% coupon that’s good for a whole day of shopping.

    • Anna

      I just got a letter about this ending due to the partnership with CVS

      • spedtch95

        Yes I got the same letter they are switching to the CVS Pharmacy rewards system.

  31. Julie

    I am trying to help my sister find some breaks on medicines. She is on Medicare and says for about 4 months, while in the donut hole, she can’t get help. She is not old enough to get a supplemental policy and she takes some meds that are costly and not generic (insulin). Can anyone offer some advice??

  32. Candice

    I like to transfer my prescriptions when people are giving extra to do so lots of times smith/frys gives me $25.00 on my account to spend instore!!! So I transfer 4 and get $100.00 with the in add coupon.

  33. monkey8885

    Thanks for posting this! My friend has a very costly prescription and we were able to find a discount for her!

  34. Jenn

    For anyone considering taking the very expensive Diclegis for morning sickness: if your insurance will not cover it there is a coupon on the Diclegis website that allows you to get your prescription for as low as $30. I got 30 pills for $30 instead of paying $200 which is the out of pocket cost at our local Target pharmacy.

  35. Suzanne H

    The best tip I have for saving on meds is to buy a discounted gift card for your pharmacy/store from a site such as Raise.com, Cardcash.com, etc. I buy CVS gift cards at a discount and, since they are the same as cash (unlike ECBs), I can use them on prescriptions. Generally saves me 10%-17% and I still get the perks for filling my prescriptions there. Oh, and I use a credit card that gives me 5% cash back to buy the gift cards so I save a little all the way around!

  36. Steve Herman

    I discovered this site that has been so helpful!
    This site allows you to do a pharmacy price search to find the lowest prescription prices possible in your any area. Print out or text yourself a free RxCut savings card immediately providing you access to the absolute lowest prices on your prescriptions; the lesser of the RxCut discounted price, your insurance copayment or the pharmacy cash price. Free, everyone qualifies, and no enrollment. Watch 45-second video explaining on the site. http://www.MyRxCutCard.com
    This is a program which helps those with or without insurance save on prescription medications.

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