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Ways to Save on Prescription Drug Spending

by Lynn JacksonMarch 13, 2017 8:00 AM

The cost of prescription drugs in the United states continues to rise which has become a source of concern for everyone from patients to policymakers.  According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), “Prescription medications now comprise an estimated 17% of overall personal health care services in the U.S.”  

We don’t want to think that we overpay for any goods or services. Taking time to do some research can help you save substantially on your prescriptions. Here are some tips to help save on costs.

Image of costly prescription drugs. Learn tips to save on prescription drug prices.

Take Advantage of Generic Drug Options

Learn your prescription drug copays or co-insurance. Talk to your doctor about prescribing drugs that have generic equivalents. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website, “When a generic drug product is approved, it has met rigorous standards established by the FDA with respect to identity, strength, quality, purity, and potency.” If your medication doesn’t have a generic form, or if it may not be covered under your prescription drug plan, ask your doctor for a generic alternative.   

Consider Pill Splitting

Many medications can be split, so talk to your doctor about doubling the strength (40mg instead of 20mg for example) and cutting the pills in half. You would then be charged for 15 tablets instead of 30. 

According to Kevin Schulman, MD, Professor of Medicine and business administration at the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., “Sometimes it makes a lot of financial sense to split pills, but if you try to split the wrong sort of medications, that could be potentially dangerous.” So, this is a good option for some people, but as always, check first with your doctor to make sure if it can work for you. 

Do Your Homework

Shop around. Prescription drug prices vary from pharmacy to pharmacy, so if you have the time, take your prescription to more than one pharmacy to find the best price. This will help you if you have a high deductible plan with your out-of-pocket costs. 

Try and Find Discount Cards

Prescription discount cards sometimes provide even better discounts than what insurance can provide, especially on generic drugs. Websites such as www.goodrx.com and www.blinkhealth.com also provide drug discount information in your area. Pharmacies also have discount cards available.  

If prescription drug prices are a problem area in your company, contact Group Management Services today. We can help you learn more about the coverage options we can provide for your employees along with our other outsourced HR services.

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