Save Up to 93% by Asking for a Generic - Use generics whenever they are available. Both brand name and generic drugs contain same active ingredients, are same in strength and dosage and meet same government quality control standards.
Savings on brand name vs. generic drugs will vary from drug to drug and pharmacy to pharmacy but can be significant. Some remarkable examples:
Prozac brand 20mg, 100 tablets cost $280.19 Generic sells for $29.99 (Savings 89%)
Vasotec brand 5mg, 100 tablets costs $103.59 Generic sells for $18.19 (Savings 82%)
Ask Your Doctor is an Older Medication is as Effective - Often, physicians prescribe a newer drug that has been promoted as more effective. However, what this really means is that it is considerably more expensive. For example, newer antibiotics are often no more effective than older antibiotics. A great generic broad-spectrum antibiotic can cost 80% less than a new antibiotic.
Ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter (OTC, non-prescription) medicine - Sometimes an OTC medication can be as effective as prescription, and if it is, chances are OTC medicine will be considerably cheaper. For example, a one-month supply of Pepcid 20mg costs approximately $60. Pepcid AC, over-the-counter in 10mg strength (you would simply take two) costs approximately $23.
Cut Your Costs in Half by Using a Pill Splitter - Most pharmacies stock pill splitters. Sometimes, medications can be broken in half and save you 50%. Why? Several pharmaceutical manufacturers price some of their medications same for all strengths. For example, Lipitor is almost same price for all strengths. Itís possible to save as much as $100 on a one month supply of Lipitor just by getting larger strength and cutting in half. Ask your pharmacist.
If your medication can be split, make sure you check figures. If higher dose is less than double cost for your regular dose then you will be saving money by having your doctor prescribe higher dose and then splitting it.
Disclaimer: Using a pill splitter is not appropriate for all medications and could be dangerous if done with wrong medication. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist if there would be any problems with splitting tablets or capsules.
Ask your doctor for a "trial prescription" when starting a new medication - If doctor does not have samples, ask your pharmacist to give you only a one-week supply to try. It is a federal law that medicines cannot be returned once they are dispensed. If you get a month's supply and canít tolerate medicine or, you don't want to continue medicine, you'll have saved money by not buying a full prescription at start.
Ask for free samples of your prescription medicine - If it's your first prescription for a particular medicine, this is also a good way to "try" medicine to see how well it works for you and how well you tolerate any side effects. However, even though it is nice to have a free drug for a week or two, make sure itís not a high-priced alternative that will end up costing you more when it comes time to pay for a full prescription.
Consider using mail-order pharmacy services - You can usually order up to a 3Ėmonth supply of your prescription medicine for about 30% less than individual prescription refills. Mail-order pharmacies are also more private and often more convenient. You should be aware, however, that a mail-order pharmacy can't fill prescriptions as fast as your pharmacy. So mail order is usually best for maintenance-type drugs. If you use an Internet pharmacy service, be sure it carries Verified Internet Pharmacy Practices Sites (VIPPS) seal, which identifies sites licensed to sell prescription medicines online.