Medication Discounts

There are a surprising number of ways to save on the cost of your medications.  With just a few minutes on the Internet or on the phone, you can often find deep discounts on your prescriptions.

Discount Programs

Don’t think that this information doesn’t apply to you just because you have insurance with a prescription plan.  As an example, one patient recently discovered that a 90-day prescription of Zetia would cost $37.50 through his insurance mail-order service, but a local supermarket pharmacy would fill the same prescription (with a coupon) for a cash price of $21.57 — a savings of almost $16.

Here are some great ways to save on prescriptions:

  • Good RX enables you to search local stores for the best prices on any medication.  Simply enter the medication you need and Good RX will display the best local deals on that medication, and show prices.  If the deal requires a coupon, they’ll enable you to print it.
  • Blink enables you to compare prices between pharmacies for any specific medication (and to pre-purchase the medication instead of having to pay at the pharmacy).
  • Walmart has a long list of medications available at a discounted rate of just $4 per month or $10 for a 90-day supply.  You can see the list of discounted medications here.
  • Publix has a list of common medications that cost $7.50 for a 90-day supply.  You can find the list here.  Even better, they have a short list of medications which are completely free.  That list is here.
  • Costco has a discount program that often results in a lower cash price for medications than you can get with insurance plans.  Note that you do not have to be a Costco member to use their pharmacy.  It’s always worth calling to compare prices for medications to make sure you are not overpaying for medications by using insurance plan copayments (especially if you are in a high deductible plan or in a Medicare “donut hole”).

Local Pharmacies

Many local independent pharmacies have discounted medications, and provide better service than large pharmacies.  Here is a list of some nearby pharmacies we frequently recommend trying out:

State Medical Organizations

Our two state medical organizations have helped develop drug purchasing discount cards to help patients both without and with health insurance to be able to buy many medications at steeply discounted rates.  Some insured patients actually find that some of their expensive medications are actually cheaper to purchase using the drug discount card than using their insurance prescription plan. Each card provides different discounts on different drugs, so be sure to try both cards.  Go to the following websites to get your discount drug cards:

Free Medicine from Pharmaceutical Manufacturers for Patients who Cannot Afford their Medicine

Finally, if you cannot afford your medications and cannot find discounts, may pharmaceutical manufacturers have  “Patient Assistance” Programs” in which they will supply and ship free brand name medications to patients who qualify based on very reasonable income requirements.  These discounts are also usually available for medications not covered by any insurance plan or if the patient is in the Medicare “donut hole”.  To see if you qualify for free medications direct from their pharmaceutical companies, try out:

  • Partnership for Prescription Assistance (for medications by any manufacturer): www.pparx.org/intro.php or call 1-888-477-2669.
  • RxAssist by Volunteers in Healthcare (for medications by any manufacturer): www.rxassist.org (no phone#, web only)
  • For medications manufactured by AstraZeneca: AZ & Me, www.AZandMe.com or call 1-800-292-6363
  • For medications manufactured by Pfizer Helpful Answers: www.pfizerhelpfulanswers.com or call 1-866-706-2400

Medicare

For Medicare patients who cannot afford their medications, the Social Security agency has a special program to help provide medications at minimal to no cost for people who meet certain income and asset criteria. An application can be filled out online at the following website:

https://secure.ssa.gov/i1020/Ee006bSubmit.do

(Use the “Apply Now” button at the bottom of the webpage below “What Do You Want To Do?”)

Alternatively, you can apply by phone by calling Social Security toll-free at 800-772-1213 (TTY 800-325-0778).