Lower Your Prescription Medication Cost

It is becoming increasingly difficulty to afford healthcare expenses. This is due to rising healthcare cost. One major factor adding to your healthcare cost is prescription medication cost. For instance, 17 percent of overall healthcare services is attributed to prescription medication cost (Kesselheim, Avorn, & Sarpatwari, 2016).

When compared to other counties, Americans pay higher prices for drug cost. While other industrialized nations average spending for prescription drugs was $400, Americans average spending was $858 in 2013 (Kesselheim, Avorn, & Sarpatwari, 2016). Since then, prescription drug cost has increased. Since drug cost is expected to rise rapidly, learning how you can lower your prescription medication cost can save you big now and even bigger in the future. Learn these 5 ways to lower your prescription medication cost.

prescription cost

Cost Lowering Strategies

Use these five cost saving strategies to lower your prescription medication cost. Save now and even bigger in the future!


Choose Generic Drugs

Physician prescribing preference is another key contributor to your drug cost. Despite available comparable alternatives, physicians tend to lean towards prescribing brand name drugs. However, choosing generic drugs over name brand drugs can be effective to lower your prescription medication cost. Generic drugs can cost over 50 percent less the price of name brand drugs. For instance, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Adderall, a name brand drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) cost $113 for 5mg dose. While mixed amphetamine salts, the generic form of Adderall, cost $45. Hence, Adderall cost 50 percent more than its generic form.

The cost to manufacture name brand drugs include clinical trials which makes it a more expensive option. Ironically, Americans already contribute $200 billion, through taxation, in research grants from National Institutes of Health to help towards drug development (Jaffe, 2019). What double whammy! In addition to cost to manufacture, name brand drugs undergo little pricing regulation lending to high pricing.


Drug Discount Programs

Another strategy to reduce your prescription medication cost is through drug discount programs. Drug discount programs have been proven beneficial to individuals seeking greater drug access and cheaper drug options.  For instance, over the last 8 years, drug discount programs have resulted in savings of nearly $200 million. In other words, when compared to regular drug cost, drug discount programs save $18 per prescription (Munigala et al, 2019). So, if you are interested in additional savings you should consider drug discount programs. Some major companies that offers drug discount programs are Costco, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Walgreens, Publix, and Rite Aid.



Drug Discount Cards

You may also find additional savings with drug discount cards. These drug discount cards promise to save up to 80 percent off on prescription. Savings is done through drug price comparisons and coupons. Even though drug discount cards may be used with your drug insurance plan, they are especially beneficial for those without insurance drug coverage. Some popular discount cards are GoodRx, SingleCare, WellRx, and US Pharmacy card. If you reside in Florida like I do, a popular prescription drug card is the FloridaRX card. FloridaRX offers free statewide prescription assistance.


Choose the Right Pharmacy

There is not much cost difference for prescription medications covered under a drug plan. This is due to the negotiating power of the insurance payer. Cash prices for prescription drugs, however, varies across states. In other words, prescription medication prices can vary by retail pharmacies. Accordingly, one strategy to lower your prescription medication cost is to choose large chair pharmacies instead of small chains or independent pharmacies. Investigators found that small chains and independent chains have higher drug prices when compared to large chain pharmacies (Luo et al, 2019)



Complementary Alternatives

Complementary medicine should not be used instead of traditional drug therapy. Instead, it can be used to supplement traditional drug therapy. Whereas once tabooed, complementary medicine is becoming increasingly popular among traditional doctors. This is due to more research and positive experiences of complementary medicine. For instance, research supports the benefit of omega 3 fatty acids to reduce hyperactivity in children with autism. Everyone response differently to complementary medicine. So, talk to your doctor to see if this cheaper alternative is right for you.


Jaffe, S. (2019). US lawmakers seek cuts in prescription drug prices. Lancet, 393 North American Edition (10175), 975–976.

Kesselheim, A. S., Avorn, J., & Sarpatwari, A. (2016). The High Cost of Prescription Drugs in the United States: Origins and Prospects for Reform. JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association, 316(8), 858–871.

Luo, J., Kulldorff, M., Sarpatwari, A., Pawar, A., & Kesselheim, A. S. (2019). Variation in prescription drug prices by retail pharmacy type: A national cross-sectional study. Annals of Internal Medicine, 171(9), 605–611.

Munigala, S., Brandon, M., Goff, Z. D., Sagall, R., & Hauptman, P. J. (2019). Drug discount cards in an era of higher prescription drug prices: A retrospective population-based study. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association: JAPhA, 59(6), 804.