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How to save money on prescriptions

You can save on prescription drugs and here’s how, according to U.S. PIRG
Posted at 4:00 AM, Jun 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-02 08:18:38-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Thousands are feeling the effects of job loss and struggling to make ends meet. One of the expenses piling up for some is the cost of refilling prescriptions.

For the Rebound Kansas City, here are a few tips to save money on medication:

1. Get the generic version
Be sure to ask a doctor if a generic is available and appropriate. According to the Harvard Health Blog, the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor retails for about $390 for a 30-day supply, while a generic version runs $10 for a 30-day supply.

2. Look online or on apps for coupons
Through GoodRx and WeRx, the names of prescriptions can be entered to compare prices and gain access to free coupons that could save hundreds of dollars.

3. Get a larger supply of medication
For long-term prescriptions, consider asking for a 90-day supply rather than a month of medication in order to make just one co-pay every three months.

4. Have a conversation with your pharmacist
Sharona Hoffman, Professor of Law & Bioethics at Case Western University" told Scripps station WEWS that it can sometimes be cheaper to not use insurance.

"Your pharmacist should be able to give you some price comparisons," Hoffman said.

Some independently owned pharmacies and large chains have discount programs.

Express Scripts, a pharmacy benefit manager, launched a program for anyone who has lost health care coverage because of the pandemic. Through Parachute Rx, 30-day supplies of a generic drug care available for $25 and some brand name drugs are available for $75.

You should also ask if your drugstore is a 340-B pharmacy, which partners with a community health center to offer free or discounted prescriptions.

5. Find a charitable pharmacy
These entities offer free prescriptions to people who meet certain income limits. You can search for these pharmacies on the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics website.