CONSUMER REPORTS - People who regularly take prescription medication spend on average more than $700 per year for drugs. To help you keep more of that money in your pocket, Consumer Reports had its shoppers check out prices at nearly 200 pharmacies.
One simple way to save is just to ask for a lower price. It worked for Consumer Reports' shoppers. In one case they saved $31.
Costco's pharmacy is another good way to save. Consumer Reports priced the cost of five common generic prescription drugs at pharmacies across the country. Costco was substantially less expensive than any other chain store. And you don't have to be a Costco member to fill your prescriptions there.
But don't rule out local independent pharmacies. Sometimes they offer bargain prices as low as Costco's or offer to meet a competitor's price. But you do have to ask.
Wherever you shop, if you have insurance, don't automatically use it. For some medications, if your drug insurance co-pay is more than $10, you might be better off not using your insurance and just paying the retail price.
Walmart, Sam's Club, Walgreens CVS, Kmart, Target and other pharmacies offer hundreds of generic prescription drugs at deep discounts. Prices are as little as $4 per month and $10 for a three-month supply.
If you take medications over the long term, Consumer Reports says you should ask your doctor for a 90-day prescription rather than a 30-day one. If your insurance company allows it, you'll be able to save on multiple co-pays.
Also look into the loyalty programs at many drugstore chains. They will also help you save.
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(Copyright © 2015 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. All Rights Reserved.)