Updated: April 17, 2020
A friend of mine was complaining to me the other day how expensive prescription medicines are. He was not happy because the antibiotics he just bought cost him his weekend budget for recreation.
I know exactly how he feels and that prompted me to do some research and think of ways on how one can save money when it comes to buying medicines.
Initially, I had this notion that cheap medicines are less effective than the branded and more expensive ones. But after talking to a friend doctor, I realized that most of them are just the same when it comes to efficacy.
Furthermore, he advised some of these smart money tips when it comes to buying medication.
Buy generic or store brands.
Generic or store brands usually work as well as the more expensive brands so don’t hesitate to buy them if you’re on a tight budget.
When you’re at a pharmacy, always give the generic name of the medicine and ask for what’s available including those that are unbranded. Sometimes, these “no-name” medicines are even cheaper than the store brands.
Ask your doctor for generic brands or cheaper alternatives to the prescription medicine.
When asked for cheaper alternatives, doctors are usually willing to give options so don’t be afraid to speak up. Be honest with your budget and your physician will most likely design a prescription you can afford.
Be sure you know and can properly spell out the generic name of the medicines he’s giving you. And more importantly, don’t try to cut costs by buying and taking less medication.
Buy in bulk.
Consider buying common over-the-counter medicines and multivitamins in bulk. They’re usually much cheaper in volume and they have long shelf lives so it’s okay to stock up on them.
These are usually pain relievers, decongestants, antihistamines, lozenges, mouth medications, antacids and ointments among others.
Canvas for the best price in town.
Specially for prescription medicines, it’s always frugal to ask several pharmacies before making a purchase. Moreover, be on the lookout for special discounts and coupons and use them whenever possible.
Some drugstores have membership discount cards while some give special discounts for senior citizens.
Use your health insurance benefits.
Everyone needs to have health insurance – employees, business owners and specially freelancers. I’ve saved a lot of money not only from medication but also medical consulations and hospitalization because I have health insurance.
Be fully aware of your insurance coverage and benefits. Don’t forget to use them, specially if you have free check-ups and are allowed to have purchase refunds or rebates.
Consider doing home remedies and herbal medicines.
Home remedies and herbal or alternative medicines may not always have scientific basis to prove their efficacy but some of them actually work. Just make sure that it’s all natural and NOT outrageous to the common sense.
For example, putting clove oil or ginger on a toothache would be okay but using lizards to cure your toothache is simply over the top.
Take care of your health.
An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. That’s what I’ve learned in school and I’ve never fully appreciated that saying until I became financially independent and began buying my own medicines.
What about you? Do you have any more tips on how to save money on medicines? Please share them in the comments section.