Off brands help cut prescription costs
Posted September 18, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — Whether you purchase them from the corner pharmacy, big box store, or by mail, filling medicine prescriptions can be very costly.
For people taking prescription medicine regularly, Consumer Reports said, the average annual cost is more than $700.
However, Consumer Reports says there is a way to save.
“The first thing you can consider is taking an over-the-counter medication for really common ailments, as opposed to taking a prescription drug. But of course, you’d want to do that with the advice of your doctor,” Lisa Gill of Consumer Reports said.
For seasonal allergies, Claritin is a good and less expensive substitute for prescription Xyzal.
For heartburn, Prilosec or other store brands with the ingredient omeprazole are as effective as prescription Nexium.
For occasional insomnia, look for generic diphenhydramine, the ingredient in Sominex and Benadryl Allergy opposed to prescription Lunesta.
Not using your insurance to pay for prescriptions is another way to save, according to Consumer Review.
Utilizing discount programs at stores such as Sam’s Club, Walmart, and Target can be cheaper than the insurance company’s rates.
"Other ways to save? If your insurance company has a preferred pharmacy, you definitely want to shop there because you could see some pretty big deals. If they have a mail-order program, you may want to check that out, too, because you could see some savings there as well,” Gill said.
When shopping for over-the-counter medications, don’t look past the store brands. They are often right next to the name brand items and can cost a lot less.
Consumer Reports also says don’t assume drugstore displays that say “clearance” or “sale” are the best deal.
The store brand could still be the better deal.