Saving money on prescription drugs

Posted by: Mark Bullock - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - With healthcare costs rising, it's more important than ever to pay attention to the price you pay for prescription drugs.

Sometimes doctors don't even know the cost of the drugs they prescribe. And there usually cheaper alternatives. That's this week's Money Saving Mondays tip.

Depending on the brand of drug your doctor prescribes, the price you pay at the pharmacy could end up breaking the bank.

"Some of them are just extremely high," said Lemetre Parrish.

Parrish remembers the day Wal-Mart rolled out its $4 prescription program. Now she's saving $15  per refill.

"Price wise, it's a big difference," she said.

There's just one problem -- you can't walk in and order the drug you choose. Your doctor makes the decision for you.

So before you go to the doctor, go on line. Go to Wal-Mart's web site and print out a list of those $4 prescriptions and ask your doctor to write a prescription from the list.

"There are over 350 drugs on the list," explained Pharmacist Katie Lassiter.

They're all generic drugs. But by law, generics must have the same ingredients as brand-name prescriptions.

"What I like to do is give them the list, give them some options, or have them take the list to their doctor and they often switch over to something less expensive," Lassiter said. "It saves them a great deal of money.

The $4 price is for a 30-day supply. You can save even more with a 90-day supply for just $10.

And new to the list is women's health drugs, which are now just $9 for a month's supply.

And it's not just Wal-Mart. Target has gotten on the $4 bandwagon. And Publix now offers a limited number of free antibiotics.

So don't forget that list the next time you go to the doctor.

"With the generic prescription savings, it's a big, big help," Parrish said.

To see a list of available discounted or free prescriptions, click on one of the links above.

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