8 Tips for Pharmacy Shoppers

A study involving Americans with IBD reveals that as many as 62% of sufferers reported financial or personal distress due to the cost of the necessary medications. 

Prescription medications and chronic medications are extremely expensive in the USA, but you needn’t go without the necessary treatment due to cost factors. 

Check out these top tips for pharmacy shoppers you can use to save on the medications you need.

  1. Ask Your Doctor for a Generic Version 

Generic drugs are copies of the equivalent brand-name medications. They have the same active ingredient, and they’re approved by the FDA.

Once the patent for a medication expires, alternative manufacturers have carte blanche to make an almost identical drug using the same active ingredient. These versions cost less because they piggyback on the expensive original research performed by the pharmaceutical giants. 

Your doctor might also recommend an alternative, cheaper type of treatment for your condition. These have a different formula and active ingredient, but they often work just as well. 

If your doctor agrees that you can continue with one of these cheaper options, you must ask them for a new prescription. You can’t request a generic alternative when you purchase medication.

For instance, when you buy Xeljanz online in the generic form, Tofacitinib, you’ll still need a prescription to place your order.

  1. Tips for Online Pharmacy Shoppers

In Canada, the government regulates drug prices to ensure they’re more affordable for everyday citizens. It’s legal to buy meds from Canada for personal use. 

Yet, there are a few things you should do first to ensure you get safe, approved medication and avoid unscrupulous online operators. 

American pharmacies must register with the NABP (National Association of Boards of Pharmacy) to trade in the US. In Canada, online pharmacies must obtain a license in one of the provinces or territories of the country. 

You can easily verify a pharmacy by looking up its address and checking with the relevant authority. Alternatively, contact them and ask them to provide proof of their license. 

By law, Canadian pharmacies must display their street address, so if they don’t, that’s already a red flag. Never work with a pharmacy that offers to sell you medicines without a prescription.

A legitimate pharmacy will always have a registered pharmacist available to address any concerns you have. 

You can also buy medications online from a licensed American pharmacy if you choose, and save that way.

  1. You Can Save Money By Splitting Pills

Often a double dose of the medication you need costs the same as the smaller one. That’s because these drugs don’t sell as well as the regular doses do.

You can ask your doctor for a revised prescription, and split the pills in half before you take them. In this way, you’ll get the same dose every time, at half the price.

You can’t split all types of medications, so you must chat to your health provider first. For instance, you can’t split the following types of medication:

  • Capsules
  • Time-release medications
  • Chemotherapy drugs
  • Birth control pills
  • Blood thinners
  • Pills with an enteric coating
  • Pills that taste bad or crumble easily

Your doctor will also know if you’re physically capable of splitting the pill accurately enough to do this safely.

Never split pills using a kitchen knife, this can lead to uneven halves and compromise how well your treatment works. Always use a pill-splitter if you decide to go this route.

  1. Sign Up for Savings Programs

You may qualify for a drug assistance program, depending on your health needs and your income. These programs offer discount cards, low-cost medications, and free medications.

You apply directly to the drug manufacturer for these savings. Some health insurers and state governments also offer assistance programs for people who can’t afford medicines. 

If you’re on Medicare, you should compare the costs of Medicare Part D supplemental drug coverage with the cost of your medications.

If the monthly payment works out less than the price of your drug, and the drug occurs on the plan’s formulary list, you could save that way. 

Ask your doctor where you can look for assistance with paying for your meds. 

  1. Compare Drug Prices

One of the most important pharmacy tips is to compare prices when you shop for meds. Don’t assume big box stores are always cheaper, their overheads are a lot higher than your corner pharmacy.

You can compare prices online if you choose to shop with an online pharmacy or call local brick-and-mortar pharmacies to find ways to save.  

  1. Order More Pills

Just like you pay less when you buy grocery items in bulk, you can save by buying a two- or three-month supply of medicines at a time. Ask your doctor if this is a good option for you, and ask them to write your prescription accordingly.

You might pay more upfront when you buy medicines this way, but you’ll save on each dose. Another benefit of bulk shopping is that you needn’t worry about ordering your pills as often, either.

  1. Use a Mail Order Pharmacy

Like online pharmacies, mail-order pharmacies have low overheads. That means they don’t need to charge as much for their medications. 

Often, health insurance providers will give you a list of suitable providers and also give you the option to order in bulk.  

  1. Join a Loyalty Program

Nowadays, many businesses offer loyalty programs, and pharmacies are no exception.

These programs allow you to earn points that you can trade against your purchases, or offer discounts after a certain number of purchases. They may also run special offers from time to time.

Pharmacies work with the major drug companies to find ways you can save on your medications. So, always ask about these loyalty programs while you’re shopping around for prices.

Keep Yourself Healthy 

While these tips for pharmacy shoppers will certainly help you save on your necessary medications, taking good care of yourself is the best way to avoid ongoing conditions.

Always follow your doctor’s instructions to the letter when it comes to medications, and you can avoid unpleasant side effects and even recover from what ails you faster.

Would you like some more health and lifestyle tips? Browse our website to stay informed. 


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