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7 Best Practices To Lower The Prices Of Prescription Drugs

The continuous rise in the cost of prescription drugs is one of the most pressing issues facing consumers in America. According to a 2020 survey, 44% or almost half of Americans say they have skipped filling their prescriptions because of costs. In addition, more than 29 million people are currently uninsured or underinsured and therefore unable to afford prescription medications. 

These statistics are alarming, but there are some things that you can do to help lower your drug-related expenses. According to mymatrixx.com, stakeholders in workers’ compensation pharmacy benefits management (PBMs) and other interested parties should take the necessary steps to avoid unnecessary prescriptions and start using generic alternatives whenever possible to help reduce what people spend on drugs.

Why are prescription drugs so expensive?

Pharmaceutical companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars on research and development each year to develop new drugs. These drugs must undergo extensive testing before being approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

Once the FDA approves them, pharmaceutical companies then market these drugs to doctors and pharmacists. This marketing process includes advertising, which helps raise awareness about the drug’s benefits. 

Once the drug has been marketed, it must be produced at a larger scale and distributed to pharmacies. Everything from research and marketing all the way to production and distribution takes a lot of time, money, and effort. As a result, prescription drugs tend to be very expensive.

How can I save money on prescription drugs?

You may be overwhelmed by the high price of prescription medications and not realize this yet, but there are several ways to help control your prescription drug expenses. Here are seven of the best practices that can help you cut down on your spending.:

Ask your doctor for generic alternatives

It may be tempting to ask for brand-name drugs when you visit your doctor, but this practice could cost you more money down the road. Fortunately, FDA claims that generic medications are often just as effective as their branded counterparts, but they tend to cost less. 

If you’ve been prescribed a brand-name drug, don’t hesitate to request a generic alternative from your doctor. This way, you won’t need to spend any extra money at the pharmacy.

Check your insurance coverage

If you’re under some type of health care coverage, you may be eligible for additional savings. It’s imperative to understand what your insurance covers so you don’t pay out of pocket for something your plan doesn’t cover. 

A private insurance might not be able to cover all your prescription expenses. Make sure you check with your insurance company to see which types of prescription medicine they can cover and how much you’ll be reimbursed for each purchase. There are also health insurance policies that may offer better coverage for generic medicines. 

Switch to a PBM

A pharmacy benefits manager (PBM) is a third-party administrator that works directly with insurance companies to negotiate discounts on prescription drugs. These discount programs allow you to get the same quality medicine at a much lower price. 

PBM providers can also manage health insurance plans for employers. They negotiate discounts with pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors to bring down the price of drugs. 

For example, when a PBM negotiates a discount with a pharmaceutical company, the PBM may pay less for the same quantity of drugs than what the employer pays directly. In return, the PBM receives a portion of the savings from the discounted price. 

The PBM also manages claims processing, including handling payments, submitting claims, and paying reimbursements. Many PBMs also offer free samples so you can try out different brands before making any decisions. 

Find the best deal on prescription medication

You should shop around and compare for the best deal on prescription medication. It’s possible to save money by going to multiple pharmacies. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about each one. You can learn a lot about each place by talking to the staff or looking through their websites.

When shopping around for prescription medication, you need to look into all the available options. There are different pharmacies, such as mail-order pharmacies, retail pharmacies, hospital pharmacies, and online pharmacies.

Mail-order pharmacies: They usually charge a lower cost because they don’t have overhead costs associated with running a store. 

Retail pharmacies: These are typically located in big malls or shopping centers. They often have more extensive inventories and can pass savings on to customers.

Hospital pharmacies: These are typically located within hospitals and specialize in providing high-quality medications.

Online pharmacies: Some online pharmacies sell generic drugs at discounted prices. They provide various medications, including over-the-counter products like cold and flu remedies, vitamins, and pain relievers.

Know your doctor’s policy

When filling a prescription, your doctor should tell you whether they require a copay or deductible. Knowing this ahead of time will help you decide which pharmacy to go to. For instance, some retail pharmacies won’t accept copays, while others will. Some doctors will also write prescriptions for generic drugs, while others prefer brand names.

Ask about special programs

Some employers offer their employees special programs where they can receive discounts on certain medications. For example, a pharmacy may provide discount cards to its employees that allow them to purchase medicine at a lower cost.

If your employer’s health plan covers you, it’s essential to know what is covered and what isn’t covered. You also need to understand what your rights are as an employee.

Take advantage of discounts and coupons

Lastly, many companies offer coupons and discounts for prescription medications. These deals can make a huge difference in how much you spend on your medicine. If you don’t see any offers, check with your pharmacist; they may be able to find something for you. Alternatively, you can often find great deals online on prescription drugs.

The internet has made it easier to compare prices on prescription medications. Just enter the name of your drug into a search engine, and you’ll likely find a list of sites offering similar medications. However, it’s necessary to remember that these sites aren’t affiliated with your physician, so you should always talk to your doctor first.

Final thoughts

Prescription drugs can be expensive, but it’s possible to lessen the financial burden if you know where to look. By considering these seven tips, you can ensure that you get the best price for your prescription medication.

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