Managing the Cost of Prescription Drugs After Retirement

By on August 21, 2018

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s not uncommon for older people to be on five or more pricey medications. The cost of those prescriptions may feel so expensive that one could be tempted to skip on taking medication in order to stretch a budget. Don’t. There are ways to lower the cost of your prescription drugs without putting your life in danger. And if there is the smallest chance that you will pass up filling a script because of the cost, it’s better to tell your doctor so that you may find a solutions together.

Go Generic

No matter how attractive the advertised drug may not be the best match for your particular condition and there is probably a less expensive alternative to the one on TV. According to Consumer Reports, whether you pay full price for your medication or use an insurance co-pay, you can save up to 80% by going generic. Generic medications are just as good as brand name products, sometimes the even utilize the same plant since many brand name pharmaceutical manufacturers own generic companies as well. And don’t just assume your doctor knows which drugs have a generic counterpart; ask your pharmacist.

Still can’t get the cost of your meds down? Ask your doctor if there’s a comparable medication on your plan’s preferred drug list. These medications will run you more than a generic, but they may be less expensive than other brand name drugs.

Bargain Shop

Compare prices at pharmacies in your supermarket, retail stores and online. You can often find discounts for ordering a 15, 30 or 90 day supply of medication and don’t forget to take advantage of prescription discount programs. Try to order all your drugs at the same pharmacy, however, so they can keep track of potentially risky pharmaceutical interactions. And some manufacturers offer free 30-day trials or a coupon for discounts on the purchase of the drug.

Take Advantage of Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs)

Still drowning in pharmaceutical drug costs? Many states have assistance programs to help low-income seniors pay for gaps in Medicare Part D coverage. And many pharmaceutical companies have patient assistance programs that can cover specific classes of medication, but all PAPs require some physician involvement, so you have to get your primary care physician to complete the forms for you.

Consider Splitting High Dosage Meds

If your medication can be safely divided in half, ask your doctor to prescribe a higher dose. If the price of a 30 day supply of a 200 mg dose is the same as a 30 day supply of a 400 mg dose, then buy the 400 mg dose and use a pill cutter to split the pills in half, lasting you 60 days.

Use Your Preventative Care Services

Don’t pass on the free preventative health screening for seniors or services offered by your insurer for physical therapy and exercise to decrease the future need for medications.

Don’t Be Scammed by Counterfeit Drugs on the Internet

Online sales of counterfeit prescription drugs is a booming global business. By operating under the radar, groups posing as legitimate pharmacies get away with selling fake drugs, expired drugs, or the wrong drug in the name of a buck. Officials are starting to come down hard on counterfeit drug operations, and this is good news for consumers, but don’t let down your guard too soon. It’s safe to assume fake pharmacies will be online for some time to come.

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About Harold Goldman

I am the founder of, and a Retirement Planning and Long-Term Care specialist. I am also the President of Emes Insurance Services, Inc., a Murrieta based insurance agency designed to help people with Retirement Planning and funding for College. I believe in educating my clients to become financially competent in an effort to develop plans for guaranteed income, protection against loss and tax-advantaged growth. To contact me Call (844)-376-2265

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