Ryan Cann, Pharmacy Supervisor with the St. Francis Cancer Center Pharmacy, shared advice on how to save money on prescriptions.
First and foremost, he recommended comparison shopping. “The prices can vary quite a bit from one pharmacy to another, so it’s always a good idea to call around and ask a pharmacy, over the phone, how much a prescription would be out of pocket, and you can compare those prices to see what your starting point is,” he said. Cann says in some cases, the prices someone would pay if they did not have insurance can actually be cheaper than the cost with insurance.
For those that do have prescription coverage, he described the best way to find a good price. “If you want to find out how much a prescription costs through your insurance, the easiest way to do that is to have your prescription sent into the pharmacy or take a physical copy of your prescription around to different pharmacies, and let them submit test claims to see how much your prescription would cost.”
Cann emphasized that just because a pharmacist runs a prescription through one’s insurance to check the price, does not mean that person is obligated to buy the medicine from that particular pharmacy.
Cann also had suggestions for where to find the best prices. “People often don’t think about checking at wholesale clubs. So, your Sam’s club and your Costco, those pharmacies are actually open to the public and don’t require a membership for you to walk in and have a prescription filled,” he said.
He also suggested checking online for prescription discount cards. One of the most popular discount websites is GoodRx.com. “For patients who are on brand name drugs, any brand name medication, there’s a very good chance that the pharmaceutical company that produces that drug, also has some type of savings program. You can usually access those online,” Cann said.