The cost of healthcare and medication in the United States is high, and they’ve continued to rise over the last few years. Unfortunately, that means many patients are left wondering how to afford the prescriptions and health products they need. Many patients aren’t aware of some of the steps they could be taking to reduce the cost of the prescription drugs they need, leaving them vulnerable to being unable to comply with their treatment plan for financial reasons. Medical compliance relies on affordability, meaning that we need to find more ways to address the challenges many Americans have. If you’re struggling to afford the cost of your care, read on to learn about four ways you can save money on medication.
1. Comparison shop at different pharmacies.
You may not realize this, but the cost of filling your prescription can vary depending on which pharmacy you choose to go to. Since drug prices are negotiated by individual pharmacy benefit managers, and not the government, there aren’t standardized prices from location to location. This means it’s always essential for you to comparison shop before you purchase your medicine.
Don’t forget to look at online pharmacies, which often offer lower prices than many retail pharmacies because of their ability to source products from all over the world. CheapoMeds is a great example of an online pharmacy that offers discount prices on widely used medications. If your local retail drug store doesn’t offer delivery, it can also be an incredible convenience to have your prescriptions delivered directly to your door. It’s worth talking to a pharmacist and comparing the cost with the price at an online store before you take a trip to fill your next prescription.
2. Use prescription discount programs and coupons.
There are a handful of different websites that offer significant discounts on popular medications. Sometimes the discounted price can be even better than the price your insurance offers, so it’s always worth looking into. Pharmaceutical companies and drug manufacturers also sometimes offer free or reduced prices on their products for those in a position of financial need, so ask your doctor about any offers you may qualify for. In rare cases, you can even gain access to special offers through clinical trials that can provide free access to different types of treatments. While these trials aren’t for everyone, they can make a huge difference for anyone seeking treatment for rarer health conditions.
3. Consider a generic medication.
A generic drug is a cheaper version of a brand name drug that is the same in formulation, effect, and efficacy as a brand name drug, and they can only be manufactured after the chemical patent has expired on the original drug. Most common brand name drugs have a generic alternative, and they can be hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars cheaper. If your prescription doesn’t have a generic alternative, there are sometimes similar drugs that your doctor may be willing to try that do offer a generic. If the cost of your medication is becoming too high, ask your doctor about your options.
4. Engage in preventive care.
The best way to reduce your healthcare costs is to take care of yourself and prevent as many medical problems as you can. You would be surprised that even general aches and pains can be indicative of a larger health issue. If you notice pain in your joints, don’t wait until it gets worse before seeking help. It only takes a few minutes to google “best rheumatologist near me” and make an appointment. You never know what you may be able to catch early and treat, saving yourself a lot of money in the long run. Issues like rheumatoid arthritis may seem unlikely, but people as young as 18 can develop the condition, and seeing an expert is the only way to know for sure.
You can also use phone apps to track various symptoms and health information, which can help alert you to any irregularity early. One example is this menopause tracker, which offers women the ability to receive insight and support as they progress through all the various stages of menopause. Tracking irregular periods, weight gain, mood changes, and other common issues can help you be more prepared for the future and help you identify many health concerns as soon as you’re able to.
While it’s still expensive to afford the cost of medication in the United States, there are a lot of things you can do to help keep your costs down and save yourself money. It’s always worth looking at popular discount programs to see what coupons they offer for your prescriptions, and sometimes the discounted prices can even be lower than the price offered by your insurance company. You can also talk to your doctor about changing your dosage or switching to a generic version of the drug you’re being prescribed if one is available. As with most health issues, the best thing you can do for yourself is to engage in as much preventive care as you can, and take care of yourself as best you can before any problems arise. If they do, remember that there are resources available to help you afford the cost of your care; you just need to seek them out.