The global pharmaceutical products industry now has revenues of $1.42 trillion every year. While innovations in medical treatment and medications have helped extend life expectancy and quality of life, it comes at a price.
These costs are in part passed along to the consumer. In fact, high medication costs are a leading cause of debt throughout parts of the world.
The good news is that, no matter where you live, there are some ways to keep prescription prices down. This article covers some strategies you can implement to ensure you are paying the lowest possible prices available. Keep reading to find out how.
Look for Generics
Not every medication has a generic alternative, but most do. Generics have the same active ingredients and meet the same standards as brand-name drugs, so they are as safe and effective. This allows generic drugs to forgo animal and human testing, which is one of the reasons that they can cost 80 percent less than their name-brand counterparts.
Do not wait for your doctor or pharmacist to offer generic drugs–ask for them upfront. It could help you save tons of money for essentially the same prescription medication.
Explore Copay Options
Take a close look at your insurance policy to determine what options you have available for purchasing prescription meds. Most plans have various copay tiers. These often start in the $10 to $25 range for generics or tier-one drugs.
Tier two is for non-generic, “preferred” drugs. Tier three is for brand-name and non-formulary drugs, the copays for which can reach $50 or $100, depending on your coverage.
You can expect your insurance to cover most drugs in the first two tiers, if that is an option. Note that “preferred” drugs in tier two can move in and out of that status, as your insurance company renegotiates coverage with drug companies.
For these reasons, you should always investigate plan coverage for specific medications. This is easy to do, as most major insurance companies make drug formularies available on their website. You can even discuss these with your physician, selecting alternative medications that can keep your copays down.
Like all types of businesses, pharmacies can charge different prices for their products. That is because they might buy at various volumes and get different rates than other pharmacies.
Shopping around is a good way to help keep pharmaceutical costs down. This is especially important if you are paying full price for medications instead of copays. In addition to brick-and-mortar stores, you can find online retailers like this one here that carry prescription drugs and other pharmaceutical products for almost any condition or ailment.
You may have heard that it is a good idea to keep prescriptions at one pharmacy. This allows the pharmacist to keep an eye out for potential interactions and allergies. It also gives them a fuller picture of your medical history over time.
Being dedicated to a pharmacy does not stop you from shopping around. You might be able to use that information to negotiate lower prices. It never hurts to ask; talk to your pharmacist and see what they can do.
Learn More About Finding the Best Pharmaceutical Products
Now that you know how to save on pharmaceutical products, you can be sure you are paying the best prices for prescription drugs. With a little bit of time and diligence, you keep your prescription costs low while accessing the medications you need.
We hope you found this information helpful. If so, be sure to take a look at some of our other health-related posts, as well as those on business, education, travel, lifestyle, and many other topics.