Discount Prescriptions

Written by Sarah Provost
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These days, it's not uncommon for a single prescription to cost hundreds of dollars a month. Therefore, it's more important than ever to be sure you're getting the best possible price on pharmaceuticals. Here are a few ways to save on prescription drugs.

Discount Prescription Cards Are Available for Senior Citizens

First of all, if you are enrolled in Medicare, there may be discount prescription cards for which you are eligible. Programs vary by state, so you may have to provide proof of a lower income. Check with your state's Department of Aging or attend an outreach program to get information on the many opportunities to get your prescriptions at a reduced price.

There are also private discount drug cards available for those who are not senior citizens. These programs negotiate with pharmaceutical companies for discounted prices in return for bulk business. They charge a fee, so be sure that the discount you're receiving is enough to cover the monthly charges.

People of all ages can realize significant savings by using generic drugs whenever they are available. When the patent expires on a particular drug, any company can produce it. That competition drives the price down drastically. Ask your doctor whether there is a generic drug available for any medications you take.

Another tactic to try is step therapy. For some conditions, there may be several different types of drugs that might be prescribed, at varying price levels. Ask your health care provider to prescribe the least expensive medication first. You can then move up to the more expensive products only if it becomes necessary.

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