Top Three Ways to Save Money On Prescriptions


Bronze Wordsmith
May 17, 2018
Nobody wants to get sick, least of all me (and my family). Falling ill presents a lot of inconveniences ranging from missed school or work days, disrupted schedules, having to quarantine the sick person if contagious…and, oh, yes – the cost of it all. Medicine, hospitalization, and other illness-related expenses can really punch a big hole in our monthly budget. And without insurance, we have to pay the cash every time the flu or something worse strikes. I know that I can help my family keep sickness at bay by providing nutritious meals and supplements on a daily basis. But if one of us gets sick, I want to know how to save money on prescriptions without insurance.

It’s a good thing one of my closest high school friends ended up being a pharmacist in our town. She gave me the kind of practical advice I needed to save money on prescriptions, which I want to share with you today. But before I do so, I have a disclaimer. I want to ask you to please do not self-medicate or attempt to alter the dosage or any aspect of your prescription medication without consulting your doctor! Not only is this against the law, but it is also a genuine health risk. With that being said, here are three best ways to save money on prescribed meds.


Get Some Free Samples

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m all about free samples. The same goes for my wife and kids, who can always be counted on to be at every free tasting booth in grocery stores and food fairs. We think of it as a feasibility study that requires the kind of immediate consumer feedback so severely needed by market researchers. So what can I say – my thrifty family and I aim to please!

Now this kind of attitude can be applied to getting prescription meds. I noticed that whenever I get a checkup at my doctor’s clinic, a bunch of well-dressed people will make the rounds of each clinic in the building. They usually carry folders or a stroller bag and have an eager expression on their faces. It turns out that they are medical representatives of pharmaceutical companies, and they give samples and vouchers to different clinics so the act can translate into sales later on. When I learned about this from my pharmacist friend, I made sure always to ask my physician if he has free samples lying around. My doctor is considerate enough to offer these free prescription meds right off the bat, but I figured a gentle nudge goes a long way in reminding him that he has them to provide.


Go Generic Whenever Possible

We’ve talked about getting free prescription medicine samples above. If that isn’t as feasible as you would like it to be (I’ve heard some clinics and hospitals do not allow medical representatives in their premises), there is always the generic medication option.

What I like about generic meds is the freedom it gives to go for something more affordable. You can’t argue that meds aren’t cheap – one bout of flu can cost us hundreds of dollars in medical costs alone. This more economical alternative is heaven-sent because it allows you to choose the more affordable option over the traditionally costly one whenever possible. I have saved up so much money on buying generic medication for my pre-diabetic condition, for which I’m grateful.


Try a Medical Discount Program

Not everyone has medical insurance or a health card (such as yours truly for several years), so the next best way to save money on prescriptions would be to join a health savings program. What these programs do is to provide free membership cards for significant savings on prescription medication. They partner up with drug stores, pharmaceutical companies, and even convenience and grocery stores to offer over 75% discount on thousands of prescription meds. I am currently using one that has an app and is accepted in hundreds of pharmacies all over the country, and I make sure to check which one offers the most value for my money before I make my purchase.

I’ve also discovered that I can ask for coupons from drug manufacturing companies if there are no generic alternatives available for my prescription meds. So far, I haven’t been disappointed. Three pharmaceutical companies have agreed to enroll me in their assistance programs as long as I present my medical history, prescription notes, and a recommendation letter from my doctor.

I also have several membership savings cards from pharmacies and drug stores I frequent (yes, you can imagine how my wallet looks like). Whenever I purchase something from these shops – it doesn’t matter if it’s medication or not – I earn points depending on the item I bought. When the points add up after some time, I can use those to slash off the price of my prescription meds, or even other items I need from the store.

So if you’ve ever asked yourself “How can I save money on my prescriptions?”, rest assured that there are useful answers. Consider them health hacks, which my family and I do. Since I am unabashedly thrifty, I jump at every opportunity to help me save money whenever we need to fill out our prescriptions. Of course, the best thing is still not to get sick – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, after all. However, it’s nice to know that there are alternative ways to afford prescription medication in this day and age.

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