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Cutting Down On Those Drug Costs

November 24, 2020

GoodRx, which tracks prices of nearly 1,000 different drugs across more than 75,000 U.S. pharmacies, says that on average, prices of brand-name and generic drugs rose 6.8% during the first half of 2020. What moves could you make to try to save money on medications? 

One possibility is to simply pay cash and buy drugs straight from a pharmacy, whether it is brick-and-mortar or online. Out-of-pocket costs for drugs are usually less than health plan co-pays, sometimes much less. Pharmacy savings cards (and equivalent online apps) may bring you deep discounts on select medications at local pharmacies, regardless of your insurance coverage. Online pharmacies that don't demand insurance may let you buy a 90-day supply of a drug instead of a monthly refill, which could lead to savings. Also, remember that a doctor won't necessarily prescribe the most inexpensive version of a medication for you; you may want to ask about the availability of a cheaper generic. Finally, as Medicare Open Enrollment Season runs through December 7, it might also be time to compare your current health or prescription drug plan with others. A different plan could offer you better options.3