What I wish I knew sooner about prescription meds #patienthealthliteracy
I have been living in the US for almost 4 years, and am just now learning something about how to reduce some of my crazy medication costs. When I ran into a problem with my blood-pressure meds where the generics contained gluten so I had to pay extra for the brand name. At the time, I complained loudly about the increased cost, but no one mentioned to me that I should search the manufacturer’s website for discount cards – no one!
It wasn’t until my husband was told about a coupon that I realized that I should be checking for coupons for all my brand name prescriptions – I have a few – like the miracle drug, Horizant, that significantly reduces my neuropathy pain. I am just now learning that for a year, I can save – rather than paying $240/3 months, I could pay $25/mo or $75 / 3 months with a prescription coupon card from the manufacturer.
This is an area where having patient health literacy makes a big difference. If you don’t know to look, you don’t look. It never occurred to me that I could be saving that much money on prescription medication.
Now I’m going through my medication list and have promised myself that anytime I see a huge co-pay (meaning it isn’t a generic), then I will go to the manufacturer’s website and see if there is a discount card. That two-minute search can save me a ton of money.
Also check with your local Costco. We found that Costco prices are significantly lower than we got at CVS/RiteAid or Kaiser.We just learned this.
Ya, I stopped using Costco because they count as a “retail pharmacy” on my plan, but they seem to never have what I needed in stock, so every time I sent a prescription it took them 2 days to fill it. Of course, that was 4 years ago, and at the time I expected that pharmacies in the US operated the same way they do in Canada – which I have since learned is not the case. I might have a different opinion about their service today – but at the moment, I’m mostly happy with the home delivery service I’m getting (same price as other retail pharmacies but I don’t need to wait in line and I can have them hold all prescriptions until after I approve them).