Smart Rx: Save money on your prescriptions

Prescription drugs costs keep going up. Being an informed health care consumer can help you save money. Here are several tips that may help you lower your prescription medication costs. Discuss these options with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure they are right for you.

Tip 1: Fill your prescriptions for 90-day supplies

Providence Health Plan covers 90-day supplies of most maintenance medications at preferred pharmacies. This can save you time and money. Some Providence prescription drug plans offer reduced copays for prescriptions filled for 90-day supplies; medications are also cheaper when filled at higher quantities. In addition to cost savings, other benefits of filling 90-day supplies include:

  • Not having to make as many trips to the pharmacy to pick up your prescriptions
  • Not having to worry about running out of your medications
  • Not running out of your medications will help you take your prescriptions as your doctor instructed

For added convenience, mail-order pharmacies can also fill for a 90-day supply and deliver directly to your door. Please visit our Mail-order pharmacy section for more information.

Tip 2: Consider over-the-counter drugs

Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are available to you without a prescription. These drugs are effective in treating many common ailments. Many prescription drugs, over time, become available as OTC drugs. Examples include: loratadine (Alavert™, Claritin®, others) for allergies and omeprazole (Prilosec OTC) for acid suppression. OTC drugs are usually less expensive than your cost for an equivalent prescription drug. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about OTC alternatives to treat your condition.

Tip 3: Ask for a generic drug

Generic drugs are an easy way to lower your prescription costs. When a brand-name drug patent expires, other companies can make and sell the same drug as a generic. A generic drug has the same active ingredient as the brand-name version and there are now generic options to treat most common ailments. Learn more about how to save with generics.

Tip 4: Drug ads can lead you down an expensive path

Do not be sold by advertisements promoting expensive brand name drugs. Since brand-name drugs make the most money for drug companies, they are often advertised and available as free drug samples. Brand-name drugs may not necessarily be any better than other, less expensive drugs. Talk to your doctor about the best effective and affordable drug therapy to treat your condition.