Discount Drug Cards
There are many companies that offer discount drug cards. Many of them are a joke! Many of them are not accepted by most pharmacies, some of them you have to pay a yearly or monthly fee to be part of the plan, and some of them offer very little in the way of discounts. My husband and I have Medicare and used it for several years. But it turned out that many of the drugs we needed were still just too expensive for us to afford. We often did without drugs that we desperately needed. 26% of Americans do not even fill their prescriptions because they absolutely cannot afford to. Many of us have to choose between food and prescriptions. We are not alone in that respect. Millions of Americans, especially Baby Boomers, experience this on a frequent basis. 45% of Americans do not have enough money to pay for prescriptions they require for different health reasons.There are over 60 million Baby Boomers, most of us living on Social Security. Yes, there are a few wealthy Baby Boomers, but for the majority of us, we do not have the luxury of paying exorbitant prices for drugs that we desperately need.
Besides all the complications with programs that do not work, there are other factors at play. There are factors that most consumers are not aware of.
- First of all, most, if not all, doctors do not have any idea what a particular prescription costs. They write thousands of prescriptions, and it is almost impossible for them to know the pricing on a daily basis.
- Insurance co-pays are not always the best way to save money on prescriptions. With a little research, one can find a lower price on many drugs. Also, many times, doctors prescribe the brand name of a drug. These are always the most expensive. ALWAYS ask your doctor for the generic. The majority of drugs have a generic form. Generic drugs have exactly the same format as brand drugs. By law, they must have the same components, the same quantities, and the exact drug make-up of the brand drug. Buying generic can often save you 70-80% of the brand cost.
- Prices for prescription drugs can widely vary from pharmacy/drugstore to pharmacy/drugstore. Furthermore, drug prices change constantly based on supply and demand. These price changes can occur weekly or monthly. If you refill the same prescription on a regular basis, it is a good idea to always call the pharmacy/drugstore ahead of time to see what the new price is. The price can go up or it can go down. I was quite shocked when I found out this fact!
- The price of many drugs are actually going down, but many times the consumer is paying more. Again, that is why it is a good idea to check with different pharmacies/drugstores to see what their price is. I do want you to know, however, that this is not easy. It turns out that most pharmacies/drugstores will not tell you the price of a prescription drug UNTIL they actually fill it. But do not let this deter you from getting the best price. I will elaborate more on this in a few minutes.
GoodRX Drug Card
I was searching online for discount drug cards several years ago, and ran across something called the “GoodRX” Discount Drug Card. I almost dismissed it, assuming it was like all the others I had researched. Thank Goodness I did not pass this one up! We were in a sticky situation, and I needed a very expensive drug. There was no way we could afford this drug. I was very upset because I really needed this drug, but there was no way in HELL that we could afford it. It was $427.00 for one month thru Medicare. And that was AFTER they paid their share! Who can afford that? We sure couldn’t. I can’t tell you how many times I have stressed over the cost of drugs, and tried to decide what we could cut to afford a drug. Usually they were under $100.oo and we just had to do without other things to cover the cost. But this was outrageous, and there was no way in HELL this was going to happen. Once again, this is when I turn to the internet. As with everything else, there is a lot of junk out there, and you have to weed out the junk and then research what is left.
Once I found GoodRX, I typed in the particular drug, the amount, and the dosage. Low and behold, I was able to get this particular medicine for under $80.00!! I know, $80.00 is still a lot of money, but if we cut our food bill for a couple of weeks, we could afford the medicine. Now think about that. The first shot at filling that prescription would have cost us $427.00!! After research and probably 20 minutes of my time, I got the EXACT SAME PRESCRIPTION for $80.00!! That was a SAVINGS of $347.00!! That was our food budget for 2 months!! Now think back to how much you have paid for prescriptions and all of the times you have needed them. What if you even saved a few dollars on each prescription? Would that have made a difference in your life?
The goal of GoodRX is to provide the consumer with an option to expensive prescription drugs. They believe that every American should have access to affordable and convenient prescription drugs. GoodRX has actually built a service with many features, such as:
- Offering information on ways to save with coupons, price-matching and/or discount plans
- Offering information on manufacturer discount cards (some of these free coupons by pharmaceutical manufacturers can save you up to $500 or more)
- Offering prices from all major United States online pharmacies and pharmacy chains
- Offering more than one million prices for over 6,000 drugs processed by many local stores and major United States pharmacy/drugstore chains
Alerting you when drug prices change, as they do constantly, so that you can be aware of the change and the difference in prices
We live in the central valley of the California coast. The main drugstores/pharmacies listed on the GoodRX website are: 1) Walmart, 2) CVS, 3) Target, 4) Kmart, 5) Walgreens. If you live in a different area of the country, the pharmacies/drugstores may vary and the price will also vary. However, California is a very expensive place to live. So being able to save huge amounts of money on prescription drugs is a lifesaver for many of us here. The sad part is that there are thousands of people that do not know about this service! I really want to get the word out.
Checking out GoodRX is very easy to do. Just go to Google and type in www.GoodRx.com. You will be sent directly to their website. When the page opens, it will ask you for the name of the drug and the zip code or town/state where you are located. Once you click on that, it will take you to the page for that particular drug. You need to make sure that you have the full name of the drug. For example, there is Morphine Sulphate or Morphine ______. You can also check for the generic brand. In the box to the left, fill in the quantity and the strength of the drug. Once you click on the tab, it will show you all the pharmacies in your area that have that drug and how much it will cost you. Now again, some of these prices can be quite different depending on the pharmacy. You may need to establish a relationship with some of them. Personally, we have established ourselves with both Walgreens and Kmart. Those have been the best for us for the last couple of years. We fill some at Walgreens and some at Kmart.