TIPS: 4 ways to get the best prescription prices

Posted at 10:07 PM, May 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-20 01:34:15-04

Do you take a prescription drug regularly? If so, you know the prices can get pretty steep. There are a few simple things you can do to get a better price.

It's worth the try.

Consumer Reports has studied the issue for years.

They recently looked at price comparisons on five common generic drugs.

They found and Costco had the lowest combined prices.

In fact, those prices were $700 less than the highest priced pharmacy in their test.

So about those cost savings:

First, find a generic version of your prescription.

Consumer Reports found such better prices with generics, that they say if there's not a generic, talk to your doctor about changing prescriptions.


Second, buy in bulk.

It makes sense if you think getting a 90-day supply could mean just one co-pay instead of 3.


Third, consider skipping the insurance.

Many pharmacies have their own discount generic plans.

With prices as low as $10, they were the lowest prices we found.


Finally, it's the simplest tip of them all: ask for the lowest price.

Lisa Gill with Consumers Union, which publishes Consumer Reports, says it is important.

With one chain, they found the pharmacy automatically billed through your insurance, when a cash price may actually be better.

And, Gill says at a different pharmacy, it was part of their contract.

"With the Medicare Part D contract, they were prohibited in certain cases from giving a lower cash price if one was available unless the consumer asks," she says.

We also looked at those free discount prescription drug cards you may have seen.

And we found they also take some money off prices.

They work best with generic drugs.

But they don't count towards your insurance deductible.

Click here for our discount card results.