By Amanda Morgan
Medication costs the average American $1,214 per year according to a report by Millman, Inc. The astronomical prices of medicine that Americans pay for medications are not typical around the globe. Overall, American medications cost about double compared to most of the world. In recent years the average price of medication has only been getting higher in the United States. Fortunately, there are ways to lower your yearly medication bills and save some money. Read this article to find out 9 ways to get your medicine cheaper and start saving money today.
1) Get the Generic Brand
You should always check the prices of your medication’s before getting a prescription filled. One of the best options is to discuss using the generic version with your doctor. Generic versions are usually considerably cheaper and have a much lower co-pay, if there is one. While you may be hesitant to start using the generic version, it’s important to know all medications within the USA must be approved by the FDA. They ensure that generic versions perform the same as the brand-name. Sometimes, there are minor differences between the generic version and the brand-name medication, but your doctor will be able to advise you on what you can and cannot take. Pharmacists are also an excellent source of information, as it’s their job to know the medications in full detail. If you can take the generic version, your doctor should order it on your prescription.
2) Take Care of Your Medication
Now that you’ve incurred the expense on your medication, you need to make sure that you are taking proper care of it. The most helpful thing you can do to ensure you are getting the most out of your prescriptions and money is to store your medication correctly. Pills need to be kept in a dry area between 68°F and 77°F, while most liquid medicines should be stored in the refrigerator. Medication labels, and the accompanying instructions from your pharmacy, will tell you how it should be stored properly. Never take a medication if the color changes, or the pills stick together. This this means it was not stored correctly and could be potentially harmful. You’ll save money, if you pay attention to storage instructions as well as expiration dates.
3) Compare Stores
You may think that there’s no difference where you purchase your medications. Why drive 20-minutes to the nearest Wal-Mart when you can go a block away to your local drug store? The reason you may want to consider going to new location is to get better prices for the same medicines. Stores like Costco and Wal-Mart are able to give you larger quantities of the medication you need at a lower cost since they use the generic versions. Other pharmacies have loyalty programs or rewards cards that may give you discounts on your medications. Most of the time insurance does not save you the most amount of money. The best way to save money is to find a different store and start comparing prices. It is important to note that since these larger stores use generic brands, you should consult your doctor to make sure it’s okay to use them.