How to Save Money on Your Prescription Medications

| February 7, 2018 | 0 Comments | Email This Post Email This Post
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How to Save Money on Your Prescription Medications

The prices of brand-name and even generic drugs can be outrageous and are often wildly more expensive than the price of the same exact drug in other countries. Seventy-seven percent of Americans say the cost of prescription drugs is unreasonable. So how can you get the financial relief you deserve?

Prescription Medications

Composition with dietary supplement capsules. drug pills

In three words: International Online Pharmacies. We can run through the options of patient assistance programs, discount coupons offered online for your local pharmacy, etc., but the reality is that online pharmacies—reputable, licensed ones that require a prescription—ace the savings test for brand-name drugs. In fact, people can save an average of 70% by ordering their medication from Canadian pharmacies, and often even more from other international pharmacies.

Although buying drugs from international online pharmacies is technically prohibited, tens of millions of Americans do because they offer far lower prices. The question is how to do so safely. Yes, there are rogue pharmacies to be avoided, but there are also trustworthy international pharmacies that have been helping make much-needed drugs affordable for Americans for many years.

Kelly Ann Barnes, JD, RPh, Vice President of PharmacyChecker.com, a company that verifies the credentials of online pharmacies, helps consumers navigate the sea of rogue online pharmacies so folks can have peace of mind when ordering their prescription medication online. Prior to joining PharmacyChecker.com, Kelly Ann was Director of Pharmacy Quality Assurance for the Massachusetts Board of Pharmacy.

“High drug costs are a major contributor to nonadherence among patients. Verified international online pharmacies often offer lower prices, making drugs more affordable,” says Barnes.

International Online Pharmacies that Offer Genuine Drugs

Prescription Medications

Pills and medicine bottles on white

There are many stories in the media—usually tied to drug industry lobbying—that paint online pharmacies outside the U.S. as bogus websites or “rogue pharmacies” that prey on patients. It can be hard for Americans to be sure whether there are safe options for ordering affordable drugs via the Internet or phone.

Much like pharmacies in the United States, pharmacies in other countries are regulated by pharmaceutical laws with oversight and enforcement from regulators. These pharmacies must follow safety requirements for the handling and dispensing of medications, including the requirement to only dispense lawfully-manufactured medications produced under good manufacturing practices (GMP).

capsules

Vegetables in capsule concept vitamin from vegetables

Like your local pharmacy, PharmacyChecker-verified international pharmacies are obligated by law to sell lawfully manufactured, regulated medications. The standards met by pharmacies in the U.S. and those standards in other countries are very similar. For example, pharmacies located in countries known to have the strongest pharmaceutical laws and enforcement efforts, such as Canada, New Zealand and the U.K. have similar oversight from their regulators as we have in the U.S. In other countries with strong laws but not as much oversight, such as India, PharmacyChecker has established inspection criteria to ensure that pharmacy safety standards are being met.

Ongoing compliance is monitored by PharmacyChecker to ensure that online pharmacies continue to meet its verification standards. Pharmacy licenses are generally re-verified every three months.

Peer-reviewed and independent research has proven the safety of ordering medication internationally from licensed pharmacies with verified high standards. In fact, in some respects it may actually be safer to get medicine from other countries than in the U.S., since pills elsewhere are typically sold in manufacturer-sealed unit-of-use blister packs. These protect the pills and help avoid dispensing problems that occur in the U.S. when loose pills are transferred from an original container to the little orange bottles you take home. Just be aware that medication ordered from outside the U.S. can take up to 2-3 weeks to arrive.

Low Drug Prices Within the United States…Did I Hear Generics?

supplements

Three colorful dietary supplements to represent vitamins or other over the counter natural medicines you can take to benefit your health and achieve total wellness in your life

For many popular generic drugs, including generics of Lipitor, Zoloft and Actos, the prices are lower, sometimes by a lot in the U.S. In those cases, stick to your local pharmacies.

U.S. Deals on Brand Drugs…Not so Hot

As I mentioned before, the drug discounts you can reap at your local pharmacy for brands, however, are minimal compared to the advantages of ordering prescription medications from abroad. However, some people may still be wary, so here’s a rundown of your options:

Discount Cards at Local U.S. Pharmacies

Many websites now offer discount cards or coupons that consumers can print out and take to their local pharmacy. You can find such cards on sites such as PharmacyChecker, GoodRX, or NeedyMeds.

Patient Assistance Programs

Pharmaceutical companies, usually those known for brand-name drug discovery and marketing, have programs to help consumers afford expensive medications. Some of their programs help you with the total cost of your drug, which means free medication for you! Other programs cover a portion of costs or just help with a small discount. These programs are sponsored by pharmaceutical companies and are generally geared toward lower-income individuals without health insurance.

Therapeutic Alternatives

If you’re tired of those brand-name costs, consult your doctor. Consumers should consider therapeutic alternatives that may be available within their prescription coverage plan in consultation with their doctors or other providers.

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