103. Save $1,000+ per year – 17 ways to save money on medications

Skipping medication doses and not filling a prescription can save money, but also put you at risk for poor health. Here are some ways to safely save money on medications for you and your whole family:

1. Don’t be shy; everyone is trying to save money. Ask your pharmacist or doctor about ways to lower your medications costs. Pharmacists, in particular, may have suggestions on how you can spend less money but still keep healthy.

2. Use generic medications! These medicines cost less than brand name products and are regulated by the government to ensure safety and effectiveness. Did you know that many generic medicines are actually made by brand-name companies?

3. Switch to an alternative medicine. If a generic drug is not available for the medication you take, ask your doctor to switch you to an alternative medicine that does have a generic.

4. Make a medication list that includes all prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, herbal products, vitamins and supplements you take. Show this list to all of your doctors and pharmacists. This list will help you prevent getting duplicate medications or medications that interact with each other.

5. Ask if you still need to take a medication. Sometimes people remain on a medicine long after it is needed or can lower their need for medicines through healthy lifestyle changes.

6. Get 90 days supplies. For medications you take long-term, get 90 days supplies! Many insurance companies and pharmacy drug programs offer lower prices when you get 90 days supplies.

7. Avoid high co-payments. If you are insured, check with your prescription plan or pharmacist to make sure you are taking medications that have the lowest co-payment.

8. Availability of an over-the-counter medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if the medication you are taking is available as an over-the-counter product. Be sure to ask your doctor or pharmacist before making the switch, and don’t forget to add it to your medication list. Before buying over-the-counter drugs or vitamins, check the expiration date. Buying something just before the expiration date is as good as throwing money away.

9. Buy store brand products. If you buy over-the-counter medications buy store brand products. They are just as effective as brand name product and cost a fraction of the price.

10. Look for sales on the vitamins, supplements, herbals and over-the-counter products you use regularly.

11. Take a different strength tablet. Many medications come in multiple strengths. Sometimes you can save money if you take a different strength tablet. For example, taking two lower strength pills may cost less than one higher strength pill.

12. Ask your doctor for samples. This can be a good way to save money when you are first trying a new medicine.

13. Look for coupons on the internet. Here are two websites to try:
  - http://www.optimizerx.com/
  - http://www.internetdrugcoupons.com/

14. There are many prescription assistance programs that provide free prescription medicines for people without prescription insurance. Check these websites:
  - http://www.needymeds.org/
  - http://www.pparx.org/

15. Medicare and Medicaid. You may be eligible for low-cost medications under the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Use this website to see if you are eligible:

16. Track your mileage. Calculate mileage related to medical needs for you and any dependents, like trips to the doctor, pharmacy and hospital. This includes cab fare costs to doctor, pharmacy, hospital and back.

Ask your pharmacist for ways to get the most for your medication dollar!

17. Get the lowest drug prices online on pharmacychecker.com

18. Lowest prices on prescription drugs near your location (up to 80% discount). Thanks to GoodRx, you can compare the prices for FDA-approved prescription drugs at the pharmacies near your location. In addition, you can find great discounts, coupons, and cheaper generics that will save you a lot of money: http://www.goodrx.com/

Also check out idea nr. 12: $$ Save $100 per month – Health insurance – Instead of basic health coverage, pay the medications yourself, only pay for hospitalization insurance

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