Updated 05:35 PM EDT, Mon, Oct 19, 2020

5 Ways to Save Money on Your Pharmacy Bill

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Turing Pharmaceuticals faced public backlash for raising the price of life-saving drug Daraprim by over 5,000%. The pill, which the company put at $700 each, treats malaria and toxoplasmosis.

The company already reversed the decision, but due to the massive price increase, NBC News reported that lawmakers and presidential candidates are now putting the pharmaceutical industry under scrutiny, although prescription drug prices may still rise next year.

With that in mind, here are some ways to help cut your pharmacy bill:

1) Look for generic alternatives or less expensive brands, as they are similarly effective, but definitely lower in price. However, as CNBC noted, it should be kept in mind that cost savings from generic brands are slowing, so take advantage of it while you can. If you're not too fond of generic names, there are also less expensive brand names that you can ask your pharmacists about. Parenting magazine also added that there are some drugs that you can split in half, so you can buy double the dose and use a tablet cutter to split them yourselves, although you should ask your doctor or pharmacist about it first.

2) According to a 2013 analysis by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, they consider mail-order pharmacies for prescription drugs that you take regularly, because overall drug costs from mail-order pharmacies are, on average, 16% lower than retail pharmacies. Not to mention, they are more convenient.

3) There is nothing wrong with prescription drugs at discount stores. Cotsco is said to offer the lowest prices while Target and Wal-Mart sell generic drugs for $4 per prescription. Karen Frost of Aon Hewitt, a health strategy and solutions with benefits consulting firm, noted that "the $4 generics can add up to big savings, especially for seniors."

4) Use your health plan wisely. There is an official list of medicine that health plans can pay for and these drugs change every year. Consult with your doctor and pharmacist and use drugs from your plan's formulary when writing and filling new prescriptions and consider them when evaluating your health plans for the upcoming year.

5) Finally, make sure that you review all the drugs you're taking. NBC noted that about 44% of Americans say that they regularly take at least one prescription drug and a 2012 study by the Centers for Disease Control added that one in 10 Americans uses five or more prescription drugs in 30 days. Some drug combinations are redundant, so whenever you go to your doctors, review all your medicines and find out which ones are necessary. This will not only lower your drug bill but will decrease your chances of harmful interactions and side effects as well.

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