Saving Money on Medications

From Andrew Rafal Strategy Financial group

Did you know that you may not be getting the lowest price available for prescription drugs purchased at your local pharmacy? Even when Medicare or health insurance covers part of your prescription costs, it can be worth shopping around for lower prices when you know where to look. 

If you'd rather not run around town comparison shopping, keep a few drug stores on speed dial so you can call to check out pricing whenever you get a new prescription. You may be surprised to learn that prices can vary widely among pharmacies depending on whether they purchase drugs from a wholesaler or buy directly from the manufacturer.6 

Be sure to check with larger-volume stores like Walmart and Target, as well as your larger supermarket chains. These stores may offer a lower cost per dose when you buy larger quantities, so be sure to request the price of brand name and generic drugs in both 30- and 90-day supplies when you call around. You can break down the prices to the cost per pill at each merchant in order to determine the best price. Thanks to large volume purchase agreements, some of the bigger chains offer generic versions for as little as $4 and $10. Also ask pharmacies if they offer a discount card or a membership program. Some feature loyalty rewards programs that can net you 10 percent to 25 percent in savings.7 

Another option is to go right to the source - call the drug manufacturer. Many pharmaceutical companies such as Eli Lilly and Pfizer offer prescription assistance programs for free medications, or coupons for discounts (note that these programs have income and eligibility requirements). If you or someone you know meets low income requirements, there are also nonprofit referral services available, including NeedyMeds (800-503-6897) and the Partnership for Prescription Assistance (888-477-2669).8 

Many states provide an online prescription drug finder program usually sponsored by the state attorney general's office, such as Florida and Michigan. Plenty of other third-party comparison websites also offer this same service, such as WeRx and Lowestmed. These sites feature easy-to-use search databases in which you input the drug name and your location to receive current prices charged at various pharmacies near you.9

*This material is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide any tax, legal or investment advice or provide the basis for any financial decisions. Consult with your own tax advisor or attorney about your individual situation. 

Our firm assists retirees and pre-retirees in the creation of retirement strategies that include the use of insurance products. 

The information and opinions contained herein are provided by third parties and have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed. It is given for informational purposes only and is not a solicitation to buy or sell the products mentioned. The information is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual's situation. 

If you are unable to access any of the news articles and sources through the links provided in this text please contact us to request a copy of the desired reference.

1 The Wall Street Journal, Number of the Week: Only Best Credit Scores
Get Mortgages, March 22, 2014;
2 Knowledge@Wharton, Propping up the American Dream: Housing
Reform Proposals Are on the Rise, April 28, 2014;
3 Ibid.
4 Ibid.
5 Ibid.
6 Harvard Health Publications, "Save Money on Your Prescriptions Medications," February 2014;
7 Consumer Reports, Comparison Shopping: Getting the Best Price on Your Drugs, accessed on May 7, 2014 at
8 Harvard Health Publications, "Save Money on Your Prescriptions Medications," February 2014;
9 Ibid.
10 The Wall Street Journal, Four Estate Planning Documents Everyone Should Have, April 20, 2014;