9 Strategies for Saving on Prescriptions

James Wong • NiHowdy Founder
Reviewed October 1, 2023 • 25 min read

Are you feeling the pinch of prescription drug costs? Do you find yourself choosing between necessities and medication? If so, you’re not alone. Many people struggle with the high costs of prescription medication. But there is a silver lining. There are strategies that can help you save on prescriptions, making your medication more affordable. Ready to put a dent in those drug costs? Let’s dive in.

✨ Short Summary

  • Maximize your health insurance benefits and use in-network pharmacies.
  • Embrace generic medications to save money, and look for coupons/rebates from manufacturers & pharmacies.
  • Monitor prescription drug prices & trends, join pharmacy rewards programs for discounts & savings.

#1 Maximize Your Health Insurance Benefits

Is it possible to squeeze more out of your health insurance benefits? Yes, indeed. And the secret lies in your insurance formulary and the network of pharmacies that your insurance has a contract with.

Let’s explore these avenues.

Know your insurance formulary

The first step to maximizing your health insurance benefits is understanding your insurance formulary. An insurance formulary is essentially a list of medications that your insurance company will cover. This list can be a goldmine for managing your prescription drug costs. But how do you navigate this list? Working with your doctor can be a great starting point. Together, you can evaluate the formulary to select medications that are both effective and wallet-friendly.

Also, having your insurance plan’s app on your phone can work wonders. You can search for covered medications while you’re still at the doctor’s office, saving you time and money.

Use in-network pharmacies

Another way to keep your prescription costs in check is to use in-network pharmacies. These pharmacies offer discounts that can help you steer clear of full retail prices. But how do you find these pharmacies? Your health insurance plan’s website or customer service can be your guide.

Once you’ve found an in-network pharmacy, remember to present your insurance card when collecting your prescription. It’s an easy step that can lead to significant savings.

#2 Embrace Generic Medications

Have you ever considered generic medications? They might not come in fancy packaging, but they can be a lifesaver for your budget. Let’s delve deeper into the world of generic drugs and discover ways to save.

Generic medications are often just as effective as their brand-name counterparts. In fact, they are.

Understand the difference between brand-name and generic drugs

So, what’s the difference between brand-name and generic drugs? Not much, really. Generic drugs contain the same active ingredients as their brand-name counterparts. They are equally effective and have to meet the same stringent criteria.

The only significant difference? The price. Generic drugs are generally more affordable than brand-name drugs. So, you can get the same benefits without burning a hole in your pocket.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist about generic alternatives

How do you switch to generic drugs? Start by discussing with your doctor. Ask them about:

  • The effectiveness of the generic versions of your current medications
  • The cost difference between the brand-name and generic drugs
  • Any special considerations or potential side effects of the generic drugs

Remember to ensure that your doctor checks the box on the prescription allowing the pharmacy to substitute a generic equivalent for the medication.

You can also consult your pharmacist about transitioning to a generic version. They can provide advice on the best generic option for you, as well as any potential side effects.

#3 Utilize Prescription Discount Programs

Discounts can be your best friend when it comes to managing your prescription costs. There are several prescription discount programs out there that can help you save substantially.

Let’s explore how you can take advantage of these programs.

Explore free discount cards

Free discount cards can be a boon for your prescription costs. These cards offer substantial savings on both brand name and generic drugs. They can be easily found online, through mail-order pharmacies, or at select pharmacies.

And the best part? They have no refill limits or expiration dates. So, you can continue to reap the benefits for as long as you need.

Consider paid savings programs

While free discount cards are great, paid savings programs can also be worth considering as a part of your money saving tips. These programs require a fee but can offer discounts on prescription medications.

However, it’s essential to compare the savings (minus the fee) of a paid program with those of free programs before investing.

#4 Leverage Mail Order and Online Pharmacies

In the era of online shopping, why not consider buying your meds online? Mail order and online pharmacies can offer significant savings and convenience.

Let’s see how you can leverage these options.

Investigate mail-order pharmacy options

Mail order pharmacies can be a great option if you’re looking for convenience and cost savings. These pharmacies offer lower prices due to reduced overhead costs. Plus, they often offer free shipping.

But remember, always choose a verified mail-order pharmacy that requires a valid prescription to ensure you get high-quality medications.

Shop at reputable online pharmacies

Shopping at reputable online pharmacies can also help you save. These pharmacies offer competitive prices and a wider range of products. But beware of fraudulent online pharmacies. Always shop at verified online pharmacies that require a valid prescription.

#5 Seek Financial Assistance from Drug Manufacturers and Government Programs

If you’re struggling to afford your medication costs, financial assistance may be available. Some drug companies and government programs offer assistance to eligible individuals.

Let’s explore these options.

Contact drug manufacturers directly

Drug manufacturers often offer financial assistance or free drugs to eligible patients through their patient assistance programs. You can find these programs on the manufacturer’s website or by contacting them directly.

Don’t hesitate to seek this help if you need it.

Explore government assistance programs

Government assistance programs can also provide support for your prescription costs. Programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Medicaid are available to provide help for basic living expenses, including medication costs. Additionally, prescription assistance is available through various non-profit organizations and pharmaceutical companies.

These programs can help reduce the financial burden of prescription costs, allowing you to focus on your health.

#6 Consult with Your Healthcare Team

Your healthcare team can provide you with information about generic medications, which are often much cheaper than brand-name medications. Let’s see how you can harness their expertise to your benefit.

Communicate with your doctor about medication costs

Engaging in open and honest communication with your doctor about medication costs can be extremely beneficial. Your doctor can recommend cost-effective alternatives, provide longer prescriptions, or even offer samples.

Remember, your doctor is there to help, so don’t hesitate to ask questions.

Partner with your pharmacist for savings advice

Your pharmacist can also offer valuable advice on saving on prescriptions. They can help you understand generic substitutes, discount programs, and even suggest preferred pharmacies.

So, make sure to build a strong relationship with your pharmacist.

#7 Take Advantage of Bulk Purchasing Options

Buying in bulk can lead to significant savings, and it’s no different with prescriptions. Let’s explore how you can take advantage of bulk purchasing options.

Many pharmacies offer discounts for purchasing multiple prescriptions at once. This can be especially helpful if you take multiple medications or if you take multiple medications.

Request a 90-day supply

Instead of refilling your prescription every month, consider requesting a 90-day supply. This can increase your consistency of medication availability, reduce trips to the pharmacy, and lower your cost.

So, it’s a win-win situation.

Compare bulk pricing at different pharmacies

Just like you would compare prices for any other product, do the same for your prescriptions. Different pharmacies offer different prices, so make sure to compare bulk pricing at different pharmacies to get the best deal.

Check online for coupons and discounts, and don’t forget to ask your doctor if they have any.

#8 Monitor Prescription Drug Prices and Trends

Keeping a close eye on prescription drugs prices and trends can help you make informed decisions.

Let’s see how you can stay informed.

Keep up-to-date on industry news

Staying informed on industry news can help you predict changes, recognize potential risks and opportunities, and gain a competitive advantage. You can do this by subscribing to newsletters, following blogs, participating in forums, attending events, and networking.

Use price comparison tools

Just like with bulk pricing, using price comparison tools can help you find the most cost-effective option. These tools compare the prices of the same product across various retailers, helping you find the best deal.

By taking the time to compare prices, you can discover ways to save money and get the best value for your money.

#9 Look for Coupons and Rebates

Who doesn’t love a good discount? Prescription drug coupons and rebates can be a great way to save on prescription costs.

Let’s see how you can find these discounts.

Check manufacturer and pharmacy websites

Manufacturer and pharmacy websites often offer discounts, coupons, and other cost-saving opportunities. So, make sure to check these websites regularly.

Sign up for pharmacy rewards programs

Signing up for pharmacy rewards programs can lead to substantial savings. These programs offer:

  • Discounts on prescription refills
  • Discounts on immunizations
  • Discounts on other purchases
  • Points that can be redeemed for rewards

Rewards can include discounts on future purchases, free items, or even cash back. Joining the Community.


To sum up, managing prescription costs doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With a little effort and the right strategies, you can significantly reduce your prescription costs.

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