If you’re one of millions of Americans trying to find cheap prescriptions without insurance, we understand the daunting challenge that you face. The American healthcare system and, specifically, the drug companies leave us individuals very little negotiating leverage or options when faced with the difficult choice of needing to get a prescription without insurance and having a limited budget to work with.
Prescription drug prices have been rising 10% or more annually, on average, for years. The price hikes have been taking place at a time when inflation is low and when the costs for some everyday purchases like groceries are actually decreasing. So it should probably come as no surprise that more Americans view prescription drug prices as unreasonable.
Additionally, studies have found that 8% of Americans don’t take their prescription drugs because they can’t afford them. Insurance coverage has a big factor on this statistic as well. Among adults under age 65, 6% who had private insurance skipped medicines to save money, compared to 10% for those with Medicaid and 14% of those with no insurance. Among those of us with the lowest incomes, well below the federal poverty level, nearly 14% have not taken medications as prescribed to save money.
Rising costs, declining affordability, many Americans not able to pay for their prescriptions – this common and continuing trend is all too common unfortunately. However, there are some little-known strategies you can employ if you find yourself, like many Americans, trying to find cheap prescriptions without insurance.
Pharmacy Price Comparison Tools – Make Pharmacies Compete for your Dollar!
Did you know that prices for the same drugs vary widely by pharmacy? In one study, a research team surveyed 175 pharmacies in the bi-state St. Louis region to determine what they charged uninsured customers for three generic heart failure drugs – digoxin, lisinopril, and carvedilol. The researchers received data from 153 chain store and 22 independently-owned pharmacies in 55 different zip codes over a three-week period. They found that the 30-day cash purchase price for the three drugs ranged from $20.19 to $256.77 for the low doses of the drugs, with a median price of $67.98.The cost was between $12 and $397.58 for the high doses of the drugs, with a median price of $70.68. Prices were similar for 90-day supplies.
DiscountDrugNetwork.com built our ground-breaking consumer pharmacy comparison tool to help ensure individuals have some leverage against the pharmacies and drug companies. DiscountDrugNetwork.com’s pharmacy comparison tool is specifically designed to help you find cheap prescriptions without insurance, as it enables you to get the lowest possible cash price available at the pharmacy, using the best group purchasing leverage possible.
While it may not get you a price cheaper than your copay if you do have insurance, it’s a no-brainer for those trying to find cheap prescriptions without insurance. If you do have insurance, you might also be surprised at the potential for saving money and paying less than your copay.
Prescription Patient Assistance Programs
Another way to find cheap prescriptions without insurance are prescription assistance programs. These programs, frequently called patient assistance programs (PAPs), are designed to help those in need obtain their medicines at no cost or very low cost.
Many, but not all, pharmaceutical companies have PAPs. The manufacturers who have programs do so for various reasons. Some believe that they have a corporate social obligation to help those who can’t afford their products. Others believe it’s a good marketing tool. As one PAP director once told me, many people who can’t afford their medicines now will go on to obtain some type of coverage. And when they do
get this coverage, they will continue using the medication provided by the PAP.
One such program, The Partnership for Prescription Assistance® brings together America’s biopharmaceutical companies, health care providers, patient advocacy organizations and community groups to help qualifying patients who are uninsured or underinsured get free or nearly free medicines through the public or private program that’s right for them.
Ask for Your Doctor’s Help to Find Cheap Prescriptions without Insurance
According to this article by Fidelity, asking for your doctor’s help to find cheap prescriptions without insurance can be a very effective strategy. “When doctors prescribe a drug, they may choose from several options, but they don’t necessarily know which ones are covered in your plan or how much each option will cost,” explains Dr. Michael Rea, a pharmacist and CEO of Rx Savings Solutions, which helps employees of member companies reduce their drug costs. “Sometimes one drug is clearly best for you. Other times, there may be less expensive alternatives that work equally well.” Bring up cost with your doctor and check your company’s formulary together to determine the lowest-cost solution for you.
According to the article, generic drugs typically cost 80% to 85% less than brand-name drugs. Even among generics, drugs designed to treat the same condition may vary greatly in price. “The fastest-growing component of savings is from generic to generic,” says Rea. You may save money by moving from one generic to another, just as you would by moving from a brand-name drug to a generic.
In some instances you can save money and treat your condition equally well through the use of something called a pharmaceutical alternative. Unlike a generic, which has the same active ingredients as its brand-name counterpart, alternative medications use different active ingredients to treat the same condition.
Did you know DiscountDrugNetwork’s Rx Search Tool works great on mobile, so you can compare prices for different medications right in your doctor’s office? This is a great way to find the cheapest prescription before you leave the doctor’s office. Not only can you and your doctor look at prices for various possible medically-equivalent medications, but you can also tell the doctor which local pharmacy to send the script to – the one with the lowest price! Try it now if you haven’t yet!
Utilize Pill Splitting
Pill splitting refers to breaking a pill down to obtain a smaller amount of the whole pill. Some people can split their pills in half to find cheap prescription drugs without insurance. If your medicine is available in double your normal dose, and you can safely split the pills, you may be able to get a 2-month supply of medicine for the price of one. Your doctor can write a prescription that is usually double the dosage of what you should take in one day. You can then cut the pill in half, making the smaller dose that should actually be taken. For instance, a medication might be prescribed for 40 mg, but then the pill is split so you actually end up taking 20 mg.
Pill splitting can be a huge help in cost savings if the same amount of the larger and smaller doses are sold at a similar price. Learn how one shopper saves 75% on his medications by pill splitting!
These methods can be useful to help some people save on their prescription medications, but are not suitable for everyone or for every type of pill. Many medications can’t be split safely.There are some risk factors that should be taken into consideration before splitting any pills.
WebMD even has a handy guide to pill-splitting to help you if you want to try and utilize this strategy! If you want to really save, however, don’t forget to use DiscountDrugNetwork’s pricing tool to see how the prices vary at your local pharmacies for the same medication in different doses, this way you can make sure you doctor prescribes you the cheapest prescription form & dosage available.
So Many Ways to Find Cheap Prescriptions without Insurance!
In summary, there are many ways that we, the consumer, can save money on our prescription medications if we don’t have insurance. The more armed we are with options and pricing information, the more we can work with our doctor and our pharmacist to make sure we adhere to our prescribed medication plans while paying the bare minimum. Did we miss any important strategies? Comment and we’ll happily update this article to cover anything we missed!