June 9, 2014

Greetings! I trust that this finds you well and enjoying life.

Isn’t it great to live in an era that experiences such radical advancements in medical science. Because of these advancements, it’s likely that physicians will prescribe more and more prescriptions as we grow older and this form of healthcare will consume a greater portion of our income. I saw this article on reducing pharmaceutical cost and felt it worth passing on.

Did you know that you may not be getting the lowest price available for prescription drugs purchased at your local pharmacy? Even when Medicare or health insurance covers part of your prescription costs, it can be worth shopping around for lower prices when you know where to look.

If you’d rather not run around town comparison shopping, keep a few drug stores on speed dial so you can call to check out pricing whenever you get a new prescription. You may be surprised to learn that prices can vary widely among pharmacies depending on whether they purchase drugs from a wholesaler or buy directly from the manufacturer.

Be sure to check with larger-volume stores like Walmart and Target, as well as your larger supermarket chains. These stores may offer a lower cost per dose when you buy larger quantities, so be sure to request the price of brand name and generic drugs in both 30- and 90-day supplies when you call around. You can break down the prices to the cost per pill at each merchant in order to determine the best price. Thanks to large volume purchase agreements, some of the bigger chains offer generic versions for as little as $4 and $10. Also ask pharmacies if they offer a discount card or a membership program. Some feature loyalty rewards programs that can net you 10 percent to 25 percent in savings.

Another option is to go right to the source – call the drug manufacturer. Many pharmaceutical companies such as Eli Lilly and Pfizer offer prescription assistance programs for free medications, or coupons for discounts (note that these programs have income and eligibility requirements). If you or someone you know meets low income requirements, there are also nonprofit referral services available, including NeedyMeds (800-503-6897) and the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (888-477-2669).

Many states provide an online prescription drug finder program usually sponsored by the state attorney general’s office. Plenty of other third-party comparison websites also offer this same service, such as WeRx and Lowestmed. These sites feature easy-to-use search databases in which you input the drug name and your location to receive current prices charged at various pharmacies near you.

If you have questions or concerns about anything related to finance, don’t hesitate to call.

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