Safe ways to save on prescription drugs

In order to save money on prescription drugs, consumers may feel tempted to turn to online pharmacies. But there are other ways to save money on prescription medication.

Look into generic or biosimilar versions of your prescriptions

Generic or biosimilar versions of prescription medicines allow consumers to receive the same quality of medicine at a fraction of the price. Consider asking your health care provider if generic or biosimilar versions of your prescription are available and right for you.

Ask your health care provider for samples of a new prescription.

Receiving a sample before purchasing a full supply can help determine if you have any allergies or negative side effects without having to spend money on it.

Talk to local pharmacists.

Your local pharmacist may be able to recommend ways to save on your prescription.

Look into paying out-of-pocket instead of with insurance. 

In some cases, it may actually be cheaper to pay for your prescriptions out-of-pocket, rather than using your insurance. Ask your pharmacist. 

Shop around. 

Like with anything else, prices can vary. You may find that different pharmacies in your area sell the same prescription drug at different prices. and the GoodRx app compare prices for every FDA-approved prescription drug at more than 70,000 U.S. pharmacies. Also, check out pharmacies at locations you may not have previously considered, such as those located inside of warehouse stores and supermarkets, as well as independent pharmacies. For example, a recent Consumer Reports survey found that Costco usually charged the lowest cash prices for prescription drugs, while some independent pharmacies had prices that were even lower than Costco’s. Some supermarket pharmacies also offered good deals.

Ask your health care provider if they can prescribe your medication for an extended period (such as a 90-day supply vs. a 30-day supply).

Many insurance plans require you to pay only one copay instead of three for a 90-day supply of medications you take regularly.

Look for discounts, coupons, and prescription assistance programs.