Prescription drugs are essential. They can also be expensive, especially if you don’t have insurance. Too many people end up having to choose between their medication and other necessities, such as food.
Fortunately, there are ways to save money on your drugs. Here are a few:
Patient Assistance Programs
Pharmaceutical companies run patient assistance programs to assist people in need. For the drug companies, these programs are good public relations. Patient assistance programs are worth looking into, especially if the drug you are taking is relatively new and there is not yet a generic. The eligibility requirements vary according to the programs. For the most part you have to not have prescription insurance coverage. Requirements might include income and age.
Patient assistance programs are always worth checking for and applying for them is free. The drugs will be available for free or a very low cost.
Coupon and Discount Programs
You might not think about coupons for prescriptions, but they do exist. Finding them can, however be a challenge. GoodRx is a program that lets you download an app on your phone that will help you find coupons and compare prices between different pharmacies. It’s also useful if you do have insurance.
There are also discount cards that you can get. The AARP, for example, offers a prescription discount card to both members and non-members, although members save more. A discount card can save you significant amounts, although it generally can’t be combined with insurance (if you do have insurance, you can compare the discount to the co-pay and decide which to use).
In the past, buyers clubs were known as a method to get experimental and unapproved medication. Modern buyer’s clubs are more focused on helping people know how to find cheaper generics. They may also allow people to increase their buying power or get medication at wholesale prices. In some cases, buyers clubs help people import medication (for example if a generic is approved outside your country).
Studies show that they still provide you with quality medication. Buyers clubs take the form of websites that often, but not always, specialize in getting drugs for specific chronic conditions (with AIDS often top of the list).
One of the best sources is Blink Health https://www.blinkhealth.com/, they have the lowest cost on generics and claim to find you the lowest prices for your medications, with or without insurance.
Importing Medication from Canada
Drug prices can be considerably lower in Canada due to higher levels of price regulation. This is technically of doubtful legality, although there are attempts in the works to change that. However, many individuals have managed to import drugs. Buyers clubs, already mentioned, are one way to do this, but here are some others:
- Medical tourism. If you live reasonably close to the border, some people are going to Canada, getting their prescription, and returning. If you choose this method, you do need to stock up or it might not be cheaper. Thus, this is generally for very expensive drugs and also for drugs which require a prescription in the US but not in Canada (or Mexico, where insulin doesn’t need a prescription).
- Ordering online from a Canadian pharmacy or intermediary. You need to carefully vet any sites you order through, as there have been problems with fake or contaminated drugs. Canada has well-regulated pharmacies, which makes this safer than ordering from some other countries. Check the list maintained by the Canadian International Pharmacy Association.
While this is illegal, the FDA guidelines say that agents should not enforce if the quantity is clearly for personal use and the product is not particularly unsafe. Customs may also block shipments ordered online, but it’s more common for them to be delayed, so allow extra time. The FDA will generally allow a shipment through if it isn’t counterfeit or otherwise problematic.
Getting your prescription medication cheaper involves some leg work, but it can be done. For more advice on prescription medications or help with your insurance, especially if you are 65 or older, contact Insurance Connection USA today at 940-382-4700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org