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Tips to Save on Medication

  • Buy generics. Many brand name drugs like Lipitor, Zithromax, and Sustiva have a generic counter part. Generic drugs have the same ingredients as the brand name drug. In some cases, the generic drugs are made by the same brand name company. They are just packaged differently.
  • Ask for samples Ask your doctor or dentist to give you a free sample or a starter kit. Free samples and starter kits are often available for new drugs. This is also helpful because you can make sure the medicine works well for you before you pay for a prescription.
  • Shop around for the lowest prescription drug prices. Call different pharmacies and ask for prescription drug prices. If you find a lower price than your pharmacy offers, ask if they'll match it.
  • If you qualify, enroll in a Medicare Part D plan.
  • Consider using mail-order pharmacy services. You can usually order up to a 3-month supply of your prescription medicine for less than what individual prescription refills would cost at a local retail pharmacy. If you use an Internet pharmacy service, be sure it carries the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites program (VIPPS) seal.
  • Learn what help your state and local governments may offer. Many states have programs that will help pay for medical prescriptions. Search your state's Web site, or call your state senator or your representative at the state capital.
  • Look into drug-company prescription savings programs. Most pharmaceutical companies have drug savings programs for people with low to modest incomes and no insurance coverage. These programs offer savings on medicines either purchased at the pharmacy or mailed directly to you.
  • Visit the Web site for The Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA). The Partnership for Prescription Assistance provides a single point of information on the more than 475 public and private patient assistance programs, which include more than 150 programs offered by the pharmaceutical industry. They can help you find information to save on more than 2,500 medicines. The PPA educational effort is supported by America's pharmaceutical research companies working with doctors, pharmacists, healthcare providers, patient advocacy organizations, and community groups across the US. The toll-free number to Partner for Prescription Assistance is 1-888-4PPANOW, or visit their website at
  • Transfer your prescriptions. Many stores like Target, Rite Aide, CVS, and Kroger will give you a giftcard (usually $10 to $25) if you transfer your prescription to their pharmacy.
  • Research your health benefits. Ask your employer to set up a health savings account or another form of flexible spending that can be used to purchase medicine. Some companies will also contribute to your health savings account.
  • Review with your doctor all of the prescription drugs that you take. You might not need some of them anymore.

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