The internet is king when it comes to convenience and saving money. You can order almost anything under the sun online, and you can compare numerous options for the best price when you do. So why should shopping for medications be any different?
Medicine can be expensive, but there are great online tools and apps that can help make your medicine more affordable for you. Here’s where to start:
TIP #1: Compare, compare, compare!
Prescription drug prices aren’t regulated, so they vary among different pharmacies—sometimes as much as $100.
“When purchasing a car, you would not buy the first car that found. You would go shop around and find the best deal,” says Punkaj Khanna, Pharm. D., a pharmacist based in New York City. “Well, same goes for drugs.”
So how can you find the best deal? There are many online tools and apps—such as ScriptSave WellRx—where you can compare drug prices based on your zip code.
TIP #2: Clip those cyber coupons.
Ready to save even more? “There are many coupons available that can help you save on your medicine costs,” says Khanna. Drug discount cards can also be helpful if you can only pay for part of your prescription.
You can find both coupons and drug prescription cards online or with prescription price-cutting mobile apps, such as GoodRx.
Some pharmaceutical companies also offer drug discount cards for certain patients. If you know the company that makes your medicine and would like to find out more, each of the phone numbers listed below is set up to take calls from patients:
GlaxoSmithKline Orange Card: 888-672-6436.
Eli Lilly and Company's LillyAnswers Card: 877-795-4559 or www.lillyanswers.com.
Novartis Care Card: 866-974-2273 or www.careplan.novartis.com.
Pfizer for Living Share Card: 800-717-6005 or www.pfizerforliving.com.
TogetherRx Card, a joint drug discount card that offers savings on selected medications offered by Abbott Laboratories, AstraZeneca, Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen Pharmaceutica Products, Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, and Novartis: 800-865-7211 or www.together-rx.com.
“Filling and taking your medicine is as equally important as a healthy lifestyle,” says Preeti Parikh, MD, HealthiNation’s chief medical editor and a pediatrician at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. “You should work with your team—which includes you, your doctor, and your pharmacist—to make sure you get the medication that you need.”
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The High Cost of Prescription Drugs in the United States. Boston, Massachusetts: Program On Regulation, Therapeutics, And Law (PORTAL), Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. (Accessed on November 14, 2021 at https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2545691)
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Can Your Patients Afford the Medications You Prescribe? Leawood, KS: American Academy of Family Physicians. (Accessed on November 14, 2021 at https://www.aafp.org/fpm/2006/0400/p67.html)
Medication Days’ Supply, Adherence, Wastage, and Cost Among Chronic Patients in Medicaid. Medicare & Medicaid Research Review 2012: Volume 2, Number 3. (Accessed on November 14, 2021 at https://www.cms.gov/mmrr/Downloads/MMRR2012_002_03_A04.pdf)