How To Save Money On Medicines

Updated: April 25, 2023

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.

Remember that health is wealth. So eat a balanced diet, exercise everyday and keep a positive outlook on life.

What about you? Do you have any more tips on how to save money on medicines? Please share them in the comments section.

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  1. the last tip would work kuya – take care of your health, 🙂 pag wla kang sakit, wla ring gastos, “xa panahon ngaun bawal mgkasakit” hehe

  2. Prevention is still the best option to save yourself from having to spend on expensive medications. And always an advice that I tell my patients back then was that even before a symptom starts to worsen, they should already visit a doctor to get a prompt check-up. It will cost money but should only be minor compared to how much they would shell out once they’re in the hospital, admitted.

    A balance in all aspects is very helpful for any individual. Health should be one of our top priorities if we want to continue pursuing our goals with active and determined mind and body.

  3. Generic medicine makes a huge difference. I have been taking this medication for my restless leg. I never realized that the 30-day supply cost over 90 bucks. Recently, they raised the price again and went over the $100 mark. That was when I noticed. I asked the pharmacist if there was generic one available. She told me there was one and it was a lot cheaper. I am going to talk to my doctor about it.

  4. I agree, generic brands are good. Generic drugs contains the same substance with these expensive branded medications. You’re just paying for the drugs “name” anyway. I usually purchase generic brands and its effective. generic paracetamol that costs for P2 each is as effective as Biogesic and Advil. Generic Mefenamic that is P2.50 for 250mg and P5 for 500mg is way effective than Dolfenal and Ponstan that costs P20+ each!

  5. Try some yoga,taichi meditations,ancient martial arts,proper diet,scriptural readings,hanging-out with friends,family affairs and pray regularly to keep you healthy. Those theraphy exercises are less expensive compare to medicines and hospital bills.Sickness is only state of mind and part of our emotional plane.Kailangan i train ang mind natin to think positively and our eyes to see wonderful things.The greatest antidote is our faith in God and sa sarili natin..lahat tayo vulnerable at susceptible sa mga viruses..kailangan alaga lang,iwas bisyo,stay away from politics,stressful news programs,too much tv media and internet.If we follow those techniques lahat tayo sasaya at magiging healthy.God bless us all!

  6. Hi pal, this is a nice post!I always buy generic, it’s so much cheaper to buy store brand than name brand for some headache pain killers or cough medicine.


  7. hi there! this is a useful post! I think canvassing the medicine is the best choice to see which is cheaper if you have the leisure of time.
    out of topic: how do i know my rss feed? and how do i place it on my web so my reader can click it. thanks

  8. you can say that alternative medicine is cheaper too and usually comes from natural sources “;.

  9. Getting sick is always expensive, even if its generic or branded it will still both harm your liver and kidneys. and if you are already in drugs, there is no end to it.

    The best thing is always prevention:
    1. Regular Exercise
    2. Eat Healthy balanced diet
    3. Take Quality Food supplement for Optimal nutrition – as all nutrients need by our body is not enough from the food that we eat everyday.

    Let me know if you are interested in the best food supplement available in the market to cater to your busy schedule 😀

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