How-to: Save money on medications

Did you know …

... That you could save money by shopping around for prescription drugs? Pharmacy companies and insurance companies change copays for different medications and move drugs on and off their lists regularly. There is also a wide variation in what pharmacies charge for the same medication whether it is generic or brand name; sometimes the independent pharmacy may be less expensive than one of the big chains.

If you take any medications, you know how quickly out-of-pocket costs can add up. The good news is that there may be ways for you to save on medication costs. Family members taking medication may be able to save money too…even if they are on Medicare or do not have insurance.


Try these 3 ways to get started saving now!

1) Free and easy online comparison-shopping

Before doing your comparison shopping be sure you have the name of the drug, dose and the quantity. You do not need to put in your personal information in many websites… just your zip code. It’s that easy.

2) Patient Assistance Programs

There are hundreds of programs that can help people who can not afford their medications. Following are a few websites that help identify the different programs. Most are income based.

  • Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA) PPA is free and provides a single point of access to over 400 programs. Based on an individual’s income, they may qualify for low cost or free medication.

  • NeedyMeds – NeedyMeds is a nonprofit that provides information for individuals who need help paying for their medications. They also have a free drug discount card that anyone can use.

  • RxAssist - This website has a database of programs identifying dollars available through pharmaceutical companies.

  • RxOutreach - A nonprofit mail order pharmacy that can help qualified individuals save on over 1,000 medication strengths.

3) Generic and over the counter medications

Talk with your doctor about taking generic medications and over the counter medications. If they make sense for you, you will likely save money!

Important Tips

Drug prices at pharmacies constantly change. The pharmacy you went to this month may not be the lowest cost next month. Save the price checker website(s) on your phone and check before getting your medication.


Be careful with drug interactions! If you are not using one pharmacy for all your medications, be sure to discuss all medications with your doctor.