As we wrap up health literacy awareness week on our blog, it is time to talk about one of the most costly parts of care for many Americans: Prescription Drugs.
If you take prescription medication, you can cut costs up to 90 percent by becoming an informed consumer and using the same buying techniques that you use when shopping for other goods and services. As more individuals comparison shop for drugs, more retailers will compete to win their business, which will drive prices lower. These strategies can help you become a savvy prescription drug consumer.
AUI Pharmacy Program If you take a monthly prescription for a chronic condition and you make $30,000 or less as a single, $50,000 or less as a couple, or $100,000 or less for a family (income adjusts up $10,000 per additional child) you may qualify to receive your prescriptions for just $30 per medication per month. To learn more and see a list of medications click here.
Price comparisons. Drug prices are not uniform; you can save a considerable amount of money by shopping around.
Drug substitution. When your doctor prescribes a drug, ask if a cheaper alternative is available.
Bulk buying. As you may know from your everyday shopping, it’s cheaper to buy in bulk. The same is true for drugs. Buying larger quantities at a time generally reduces the per-dose cost of drugs. This is especially true for generics purchased by mail.
Mail-order Pharmacies. Mail-order and Internet pharmacies offer the best deals on prescription drugs, especially for patients with chronic conditions.
Over-the-counter drugs (OTC). Ask your doctor if an OTC drug will work just as well as a prescription drug. Today there are hundreds of OTC drugs that were previously only available by prescription.
Generic medications. Generic medications work as well as brand-name drugs and can cost 20 to 80 percent less. This applies for both prescriptions and OTC drugs.
Stay on your meds. If you take medication regularly, don’t skip doses or go off your meds to save money. Sticking to your medication schedule will help you avoid health complications that will cost more money in the future.
AUI has a number of resources to help you be a more educated consumer. To learn more, please contact us.