With the high cost of prescription medications eating into the family budget it is important to find ways to save money at the pharmacy. One of the best methods is to purchase generic drugs. Generic prescriptions are less expensive alternatives to brand-name products. Depending on your prescription and medication needs you could save significantly by using generic brands. Talk with your doctor and pharmacist to make sure the generic alternative really has the same potency and safety.
By law your doctor or pharmacist is required to offer you the less expensive generic drug. You will find that there is very little difference between generic and brand name medications except for the price and the name. A generic drug is normally called by its chemical name and the manufacturer gives a drug a brand name. By law both products must have the same ingredients and be genetically equivalent to one another. Generic drugs must also be therapeutically equivalent to brand name drugs and have the same medical effects.
Not all generic drugs have equivalents. You may find that some drugs are patented by drug companies and cannot be manufactured in a generic version until the patent expires. Up to half of all drugs on the market today do have generic equivalents and you do need to ask your doctor if the generic options will work the same way as the name brand medication.
There are always exceptions to any law and generic versus brand name prescription is no different. If your doctor writes a prescription for a specific brand name your pharmacists must fill the prescription as your doctor has written. In other words a cost saving generic drug cannot be substituted. Hopefully pharmacists and doctors “talk” and both are knowledgeable about generic alternatives.
You can also save money at the pharmacy by taking advantage of pharmacy coupons. Many pharmacies offer rewards if you transfer a prescription from one pharmacy to another. Drug companies also present coupons to your doctor. Ask your doctor for a coupon that may allow your co-pay to be waived or a coupon that will help you get a month’s supply of a medication at little or no cost. You can also ask your doctor for free samples. Drug representatives are always passing copious amounts of samples to doctors and you may be able to take advantage of this generosity.
Another way to save money at the pharmacy is to continually check pharmaceutical company’s websites. Often pharmacy companies will offer free samples or coupons that waive the copay or give you a certain amount of money off your prescription.
Often your health benefits provider will have a mail in prescription service as part of your benefits. You can ask for a 90 day prescription which will give you a savings from more expensive month to month prescriptions. Do check out what your copay amount will be before using a mail in service.