Discount Pharmacy Cards

Written by Sarah Provost
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Many governmental agencies are hard at work to address the problem of rising costs of medications for senior citizens. New programs are being established and outreach undertaken to help seniors afford their necessary drugs. But what about those of us who aren't yet old enough to be eligible? Is there any way for middle-aged and younger people to reduce the cost of prescription drugs?

Generic Drugs and Step Therapy Can Save You Money

Probably the first thing to investigate is whether the medications you take are available in generic form. Once a patent has expired, any company can produce a drug. That competition drives prices down drastically. Brand-name drugs are often exactly the same as the much less expensive generics. You may, for instance, be able to use generic ibuprofen, available over the counter, instead of costly prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs. Ask your doctor or pharmacist whether a generic is available.

You might also consider trying step therapy. For some conditions, there are several different types of medications available. Ask your doctor to try prescribing the least expensive medication first, and move up to more expensive drugs only if and when necessary.

Finally, there are discount prescription programs available. Some are sponsored by private companies. Anyone is eligible to join these programs. You'll pay a fee, and in return receive a discount on specific medications for which the company has negotiated a lower price. There are also programs available only to lower income individuals. These may require a processing fee, but the total cost is much lower than that of programs open to all. You will have to provide financial information to be certain you qualify.


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