When you’re filling your prescriptions, there are a lot of seen and unseen factors influencing your choices, and the best thing you can do to combat rising prescription costs is to become a more informed consumer. Start cutting costs by asking these three questions.
Am I getting the right drug?
Your physician has the power of the pen, and they’ll ultimately make the decision about which drug to prescribe. You shouldn’t try to become your own physician, but being prepared to talk to your doctor about medications can make a big difference in what prescription you fill.
Make sure you bring a list of the medications you’re currently taking to your doctor’s visit and prepare your questions about symptoms, drug options, and possible side effects or interactions ahead of time. Check your benefit formulary to understand the tiers of drugs covered by your provider and how those tiers impact the price you pay at the counter.
Am I getting the best price for this medication?
During the pandemic, consumers became more educated about different prescription filling options. Digital pharmacies and mail-order pharmacies may offer lower prices than going to a brick-and-mortar location, as well as more flexibility for getting your medications delivered.
Asking your pharmacy questions about cash prices, club prices, and coupons can help you find better pricing in person as well.
There are digital tools you can use to explore your choices for purchasing drugs locally and online.
What’s influencing prescription choices?
There are a lot of external influences when it comes to medication choices. Two prominent influences are direct-to-consumer advertising from drug manufacturers and social media trends. Both can drive patients to ask their doctor for specific drugs.
The drugs highlighted on social posts from celebrities or the latest TV commercials are appropriate for many people. Still, not everyone should be on the medications with the highest ad spend. There may be a better fit for your health and your pocketbook. Sometimes switching to a generic version of a drug can save a patient 20% while offering the same treatment as the brand medication advertised on TV.
Join the conversation as an empowered consumer
Whether buying from direct-to-consumer drug delivery companies, independent pharmacies, or chains, people are learning they don’t have to be takers without a voice or influence on which drugs they get and how much they spend.
By approaching your pharmacy choices with a consumer mindset, you’re more likely to think about quality, costs, and overall value. Grow your consumer power by educating yourself on drug prices and location or channel options your benefit best supports.