Woman looking at medications

Frequently Asked Questions

The Do It Yourself (DIY) Guide: 7 Simple Steps to Saving Money on Prescriptions is designed to put the power of a guided internet search for savings in your hands. It gives helpful instructions for researching and finding the best medications savings programs – allowing you to maintain control of your own privacy.

I do not sell or share data. I do not take advertising or allow affiliate marketing. However, the companies and websites that I list on the “Resources” page each have their own privacy policies and terms and conditions. If you are concerned, check their Terms and Privacy Policy before sharing any personal information.

No. I have worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 30 years in a variety of positions including market research, product management, and sales. My experience in the industry has given me unique insights to the way in which the health care system works, and how to access pharmaceutical savings programs. 

Some offices have a great system for relaying this information to patients- and others don’t. Some providers may not even know about the savings cards and how they work. Health Care Reform, and COVID 19 have overwhelmed clinicians in many ways. Often, there is less time available to spend with each patient, and there is not enough time to discuss everything.

Generic medications are often less expensive, but my goal is to research the medication list EXACTLY as it shows on the prescription and find a lower cost solution. Any decisions about changing to generic medications should be made with your doctor or health care provider. Many factors have to be taken into consideration, such as allergies, prior treatment failures, sensitivities to inactive ingredients, or other issues.

Savings cards are an alternative to insurance that may be a cost savings option.The cards are also helpful if your prescription plan does not cover a medication at all. Savings cards like GoodRx, SingleCare, Script Save Well-Rx, and many others are not insurance. When you use a savings card, you are choosing not to use your prescription insurance benefits. The cost of medications purchased using a savings card are not considered part of your insurance deductibles or out-of-pocket-costs (except in California).

Savings cards are actually apps that you register for, and use, on your computer or phone.

  1. Simply search on the app/site for your exact medication, dose form, strength, and quantity.
  2. Costs will vary by pharmacy, by zip code, and by which savings card you choose. The price quoted may change often based on the supply chain and demand.
  3. Enter in your zip code and pharmacy into the app/site to see your local cost options. Then cross-check those costs against your insurance plan to decide which is best. 

Computer algorithms, artificial intelligence (AI), just-in-time inventory systems, and big-data all contribute to the costs of medications. There are literally thousands of prescription plans and insurance plans – each with its own set of rules that determine what gets covered and at what price. Many high-volume generic medications are dispensed so frequently that stores can buy in bulk, knowing these medications will sell. Sometimes, pharmacies offer medications at a lower price as a “loss leader” to get you into the store. Prescription pricing is complicated. There are a lot of factors involved, and not a lot of transparency. 

That’s a tough one. Still, there may be a way to reduce overall out of pocket costs. Sometimes companies may have a Patient Assistance Program if certain requirements are met. Budgeting for prescriptions can be very hard – especially when plans change every year. I highly recommend using the medicare.gov website to compare costs and coverages to your medication list. It is important to be thoughtful about choosing a  Medicare D plan. I suggest choosing a plan that covers your higher cost, prescribed medications at a reasonable co-pay cost, rather than a plan with the lowest premium. Less expensive plans usually end up costing more for people who routinely need branded, expensive medications.