Recently I lost my prescription drug insurance, and I’ve found myself wondering “how much will my prescription cost without insurance” and “where’s the cheapest pharmacy to fill prescriptions?” I’ve also been looking for the best money-saving prescription discount card to find the lowest prices. Today I’m going to share with you what I’ve learned, as a nurse, it’s important to me to help people find a way to afford their medications.
Prescription drug prices in the United States are by far the highest in the nation, and without government price controls, pharmaceutical companies continue to enjoy huge profits at the expense of the public, especially those living on a fixed income and those of us without insurance.
For example, while covered by Obamacare, I was able to obtain my monthly medication for Selegiline. After losing my insurance, I learned that my medication would cost me around $180.00 per month.
That was difficult to believe as Selegiline has been used extensively since 1996 and is available as a generic medication. Most Americans cannot afford these kinds of prices monthly, especially if they are taking other monthly medications.
Furthermore, the $4.00 and $9.00 prescription drug prices at various pharmacies that have such programs are continually changing their affordable medication lists.
Therefore, many times a cost-effective medication can be prescribed successfully for patients of limited financial resources, however, after a period of time the “cheap list drugs” change. Medications that used to treat patients inexpensively are eliminated from the “inexpensive pharmacy list,” and these patients often stop taking medications.
Many patients need less expensive options for obtaining prescription medications that they can afford so let’s explore some options for securing more reasonable medication prices in the United States.
Prescription Discount Card: What is it and does it save you a significant amount of money?
A Prescription discount card is not usually what it’s hyped up to be. In fact, according to Doug Hoey of the National Community Pharmacists Association, the prescription discount card can often lead the consumer to pay higher prices for their prescription medications.
Many prescription discount card companies often trick their consumers into thinking they are receiving a discount when they actually end up paying more for the medication than they would have if they had not used a prescription discount card.
Many prescription discount cards are for one or two medications or a small medication list if one is lucky in the card they choose. A Provider of a pharmacy discount card often overcharges the customer but limits the amount the pharmacy may collect to $1.50 for the covered discounted prescription.
Keep in mind that a prescription discount card by a drug manufacturer and those from private so-called “discount prescription card companies” are for-profit companies and they genuinely have no real incentive to save you money, but rather to make money for themselves.
There are discount prescription cards by drug manufacturers and those from privately funded programs or so-called prescription discount companies. Often, the difference between these two types of cards may not make much difference because drug manufacturers have contracts with many discount drug card companies.
You would think that the Federal Trade Commission would make this knowledge public, and perhaps begin to enact legislation to end this practice, instead this blatant abuse of pharmacy discount cards continues.
Goodrx Discount Card
The GoodRx discount card is the best prescription discount card I have found for true pharmacy savings.
Featured on the Dr. Oz Show, and the Today show, GoodRx will send you a prescription discount card for free. GoodRx lists the local prices on hundreds of medications at all of the pharmacies in your local area.
Type in your prescriptions and print coupons that work at just about any pharmacy. Above is an example of the savings available with a GoodRx discount card.
Related: 6 Smart Money Saving Challenges
Prescription Drugs Online: Can I Safely Order from an Online Pharmacy
Prescription drugs from online Canadian pharmacies can be as much as ten times less than in the U.S. Often Canadian pharmacies offer free shipping or charge a $15.00-$20.00 fee for shipping. Sadly, it is not “technically legal to import medications from a Canadian Pharmacy unless you meet the following conditions:
- The medication is used to treat a serious medical condition, and no effective treatment is available in the United States.
- You won’t be selling it or promoting it to others in the United States.
- The medication does not represent an unreasonable risk.
- Affirm in writing that the drug is for your personal use.
- You cannot order more than a 90 day supply of medication each time you order from a Canadian pharmacy. You must provide the name and address of the doctor licensed in the United States responsible for your treatment.
Legislation introduced in 2018, hopes to enact laws allowing pharmacies to import less expensive medications. Vermont is the first state to begin development of a wholesale importation program for prescription drugs purchased from Canada.
If you do Choose to Buy from a Canadian Pharmacy
Just do your research before ordering medication from any Canadian pharmacy. You can verify that a Canadian Pharmacy is Legitimate by visiting several different websites:
1. VIPPS: the Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Site, includes licensed Canadian Pharmacies
2. CIPA: Canadian International Pharmacy Association website 3. Pharmacy Checker: Provides reviews of Canadian and other foreign online pharmacies.
Reputable pharmacies will have licensed pharmacist and require a prescription from your current medical provider.
Reputable Canadian Online Pharmacies
According to CIPA, or the International Pharmacy Association, there are 66 reputable online Canadian Pharmacies. Here is the complete list of safe online pharmacy websites that meet the safety and privacy standards of the Canadian International Pharmacy Association. Scroll down the page to view the entire collection of CIPA Certified Safe Online Pharmacy websites.
Every CIPA member exhibits exceptional standards of quality and adherence to all regulatory requirements. Qualifying websites must meet all CIPA standards of practice, as well as undergo and pass regular on-site inspections. The following sites have achieved this level of excellence:
Have you tried the GoodRx discount card or any other prescription discount card? If so, let us know in the comments below.
About The Author
Jennifer Davis is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse specializing in Wellness, Anti-Aging, and Bio-Identical hormone management. She also works with dyslexic children tutoring them in the Orton-Gillingham method of reading instruction.
Find Jennifer at Reading Problems At Home School where she writes about dyslexia education. Jennifer is A skilled freelance writer that specializes in medical, financial and dyslexia research and writing.
She has a Master of Science degree and her Advanced Practice Nursing degree from Philadelphia University where she graduated with honors. Jennifer is a member of the American Academy of Anti-Aging and Wellness medicine.
Furthermore, Jennifer is a Certified Orton-Gillingham reading tutor for individuals with dyslexia. Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family and remodeling her new home. Contact Jennifer on LinkedIn.