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Save $$$ on prescription drugs in a slumping economy

According to the 2010 report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers, spending for prescription drugs was $234.1 billion in 2008, nearly 6 times the $40.3 billion spent in 1990.  According to the Kaiser Family Foundation calculations using data from IMS Health, and Census Bureau,

  • Majority of Americans take one or more prescription medicines on a regular basis.
  • There has been an increased utilization and demand for prescription drugs – From 1999 to 2009, the number of prescriptions purchased in the United States increased 39%, while the population only grew 9%.
  • The types of prescriptions written nowadays are mostly the top-selling prescriptions that are newer, higher-priced brand name drugs that have replaced older, less-expensive drugs.

With the recent slump in the economy and increase in unemployment, more and more people are looking for ways to save on drug costs. Check out these five tips on you can save!


1. Talk to your local pharmacist & physician

If you have not done so, do it today. Check out your local pharmacist. He/she can help you by working with your physician, answer any drug related questions you may have and make sure the medicines you are taking are appropriate. Remember, taking unnecessary medicine use can lead to side effects and other drug related problems, which will costs money to manage. Your pharmacist can also talk to you about using combination pills. If you take two medicines that are available in a combination pill, you may be able to save money (and take fewer pills) by taking the combination pill.  Your pharmacist is likely to discuss the use of generic products, which can be safely substituted for the brand name product, but there are a few exceptions e.g. generic versions of some medicines used to treat epilepsy. Follow the advice of your physician or pharmacist about the use of generic medicines. Many of these money saving strategies will require a talk with your doctor to get a new or revised prescription.


2. Check with your insurance & use the “preferred” brand name medicines

Getting a list of preferred brand name medicines from your insurance company and discussing with your physician can lead to paying lower copays. Insurance companies’ charges lower co-pay for certain brand name drugs that they encourage their enrollees to use. If you take a brand name drug that is not on this preferred list, it will cost you more money out-of-pocket.


3. Are you using mail order pharmacy?

Lower your out-of-pocket expenses by ordering your routine medicines through the company’s mail order pharmacy especially if you have health insurance. Mail order pharmacies will typically send you three-month supply of medicine by mail order and pay the equivalent of two months in co-pays. These are huge savings and can add up over time. Again, discuss with your physician and/or pharmacist about using a mail-order pharmacy until you know that the medicine is safe and working for you.


4. Fill your prescriptions from one pharmacy

Fill your prescriptions via one pharmacy. This will prevent unnecessary drug related problems such as drug interactions, which cost money to manage. If you use multiple pharmacies, have all your medicines reviewed regularly by your physician or by your local pharmacist, consultant or senior care pharmacist in your area. Refer to this link for senior care pharmacists near you.


5.    Patient assistance program (PAP) by pharmaceutical companies.

Good news! Some pharmaceutical companies offer assistance programs for the drugs they manufacture.  If you have no insurance or depending on your income level, you may qualify for patient assistance programs. Below is a list of companies’ websites with comprehensive information on patient assistance programs


 We hope this is helpful. If you have any other tips, please feel free to post a response.

Thank You,

CareNovate Team –

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