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How to Save Money at the Pharmacy

Let's face it -- no one wants to pay more than they have to for a prescription. So how do you save money at the pharmacy? It will depend on several factors, such as whether you have insurance and the type of medication you are buying. A combination of talking to your doctor and pharmacist, calling around, and reading a lot of fine print will usually yield the best results.


Everyone Wants to Save

After years of working in retail pharmacies, we've come to appreciate this almost universal fact: Everyone wants to save money at the pharmacy. It doesn't matter how tight your budget is; it doesn't matter if you are penniless or a multimillionaire. It's hard to accept a high price tag for drugs, and saving money at the pharmacy is always welcomed. In this article, we'll talk you through some good (and not-so-good) ways to trim your drug costs.

Go Generic

If you do only one thing in your quest to cut your drug expenses, this one thing should be it. Generics are cheaper for you and cheaper for your insurance. Everybody wins. Unless, of course, they're just not as good as their more expensive counterparts. Fortunately, this is rarely the case.
Generic prescription drugs aren't like generic potato chips or generic jeans. They're not low-quality knock-offs. Generic manufacturers are held to the same standards as the companies that make brand-name drugs. The drugs are tested to make sure they contain the right medication in the right amount and that they behave the same way in the human body. There is a little "wiggle room," but no more than the brand-name manufacturers have. In other words, a generic drug can differ from the brand-name drug no more than different batches of the brand-name drug are allowed to vary.
What if your drug hasn't yet gone generic? Check with your insurance, pharmacist, and doctor to see if there are any generic drugs that might work as an adequate substitute. In some cases, a slightly older but otherwise similar drug will work just fine. Sometimes, there are no suitable generic options, though, so don't insist on a generic against your doctor's advice.
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