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Today, more than half of the US population reports to regularly taking prescription medications. And not just one, but FOUR prescriptions on average.
This does not come cheap.
On top of all their other healthcare costs, Americans now spend an average of $1,112 each year on prescription drugs alone.
The extremely high costs of prescription drugs is a growing epidemic. It not only raises the costs of health care across the country, but also deteriorates the quality of people’s health overall.
If you're like the majority of people in this country, you are terrified of losing your health insurance.
Because losing your health insurance can mean a death sentence in the US today.
There is NO way that to keep up with your medical costs without it.
This is a serious problem. And it is one affecting Americans across the board.
But, I’m here to tell you there are solutions.
There are ways to save money on prescriptions intelligently and safely.
Read on in this guide to learn three of my top 'white belt' methods for saving money on your prescriptions so you can start living better today.
One of the easiest and first steps for anyone looking to save money on their prescriptions is to switch from brand name drugs to generic drugs.
Doing this can easily save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a month, even (or especially) with insurance.
Most of my patients have heard of generic drugs and know that they are cheaper. But many are scared to make the switch because they don't think that they are as effective or as safe.
In reality, in most cases, generic drugs and brand name drugs are basically indistinguishable products.
It’s like buying Lucerne milk versus store brand milk.
You’re dealing with a single ingredient, so the main difference that you’re paying for is the marketing.
That’s typically the case with brand name drugs, but there are times when there is a little bit of a difference.
I’ll give you an example and show you how to make sure you are getting the best quality even in generic medications.
One very commonly cited example of a difference between generic and branded medications is with the drug Levothyroxine. This is a medication to treat thyroid hormone deficiencies.
The brand name for that is Synthroid. With Synthroid, tests show that there is a slight difference between manufacturer to manufacturer in the absorption of the drug.
Some doctors insist on prescribing only the brand name version of the drug. This is because the effective dose you get can vary by as much as 10 percent per manufacturer.
From the doctor’s side of things, it makes sense to play it safe. For patients, however, this could mean paying FIVE TIMES as much per month for the medication. With long-term usage, that can really add up.
Every prescription has two places to sign. Signing in one place requires pharmacists to dispense the brand name version of the drug, signing in the other doesn’t.
So for my patients, I ALWAYS sign ‘substitute permitted,’ which allows the pharmacist to sell the patient whichever version they prefer.
Sadly, many doctors don't do this.
So what can you do to keep costs low, but still get the same quality medications?
When people say that they need the brand name Synthroid, they’re really just saying, ‘I just want the consistency of getting something from the same manufacturer.’
As the consumer, when you are on a version of the medication that works for you, check who is the manufacturer of the pill.
For Synthroid or Levothyroxine, for example, you might find that Teva pharmaceuticals is the specific manufacturer of the version you’re taking.
So when you go to fill your prescription, tell the pharmacist that you want the Teva pharmaceuticals version of Levothyroxine and the dosage.
If they don’t have it, go to a different pharmacy or call around and ask them until you find the generic manufacturer you want.
When you find it, you can buy a six-month or a year supply all at once and save yourself even more money.
We all know that Pharmaceutical companies are sneaky.
There's a reason why they're cast as the bad guys in so many Hollywood films.
One of the trickier ways that some of these companies try to make a quick buck is that they take two or more drugs, put them together and voilá!
They’ve created a 'brand new' drug they can sell you.
And you guessed it—with a huge markup.
These are called Combination drugs. And these can come in all shapes and sizes—from pills to creams.
Have a look at these examples:
An example of a combination pill is the weight-loss pill Qsymia, which costs about $190 a month.
Well, despite all the fancy marketing, this drug is essentially just a combination of the drugs Topiramate and Phentermine.
If you were to buy the two ingredients together in their generic versions, you could get them for $9 and $8 each.
Thus, you could cut the cost of your prescription from $190 to $17, just by doing your homework and buying the drugs separately.
Is the drug different? In this case, not at all.
What you’re paying for is essentially the doctor’s convenience to just write Qsymia on the prescription.
And for your own convenience to take one pill a day instead of two.
If the extra cost to take fewer pills is worth it to you, then, by all means, do it.
But do it knowing that’s why you’ve paid more for it.
Supposedly, combination pills make it easier for patients to keep up with their medications and take the right dosages.
But the real reason we have combination pills is so that pharmaceutical companies can profit off regulation.
Thanks to the FDA, a drug company can take two generic drugs, put them together and patent them as an entirely new combination drug. And charge you 100 times more for it!
Another example of a combination drug is Xerese. This is a cream for cold sores and genital herpes lesions that helps to reduce the pain and speed up healing.
Sounds nice, until you see the price at $1,200 a tube!
But, if you take a second to look at the ingredients. There you’ll see that Xerese is really just a combination of Acyclovir and Hydrocortisone.
For the two together, you’d be out around $100.
So, is avoiding the complication of using two creams instead of one worth paying an extra $1,100?
I don't think so. At that price difference, I don’t know anyone who would choose the separate creams if they knew it were an option.
In a free market, a company might be able to get $20 more on a tube for the convenience factor. But there is no way they would be able to charge more than $1,000 for it.
But we’re not in a free market.
Drug companies are able to charge these exorbitant prices. Because in most cases, consumers are not directly footing the bill for their prescription drugs --the insurance companies are.
When you aren’t paying the full price of your medications, you have little incentive to actually look at what you’re taking and to see if there are cheaper alternatives.
That doesn’t mean that the cost just goes away. Instead, it’s just hidden away in your insurance premium.
These artificially inflated prices might not immediately impact you if you’re passing off your costs to your insurance company. But they do keep prices higher for everyone else.
And if you’re one of the millions of people living without insurance, you can certainly cut down your costs by following this advice.
To see if there are separate, generic alternatives to the medications you are taking, the best place to start is Google.
Search the drug Xerese, for example, and you’ll see right on the manufacturer’s website the brand name. It will say Xerese, and then in parentheses, it says Acyclovir slash Hydrocortisone.
In a glance, you can see that it’s a combination of two drugs.
Then, you can look up the two drugs, see how much they cost and if you need a prescription.
It’s very easy and you can do it in two or three minutes just by searching online.
As always, it’s recommended to run this by your doctor first. One easy option is to take a list of all your prescriptions to your doctor. Then, just ask what your alternatives are.
It sounds like a no-brainer, but the number one reason people overpay for their prescriptions is that they don’t question what they are prescribed.
The number one reason people overpay for their prescriptions is that they don’t question what they are prescribed.
I mentioned earlier that each year the average American spends $1,112 on drugs.
That’s just on average.
If you’re diagnosed with a chronic disease, your monthly bill will probably come out to many times that.
Prescription drug prices in the US are some of the highest in the world. The old adage about price meaning quality does not apply here.
Thanks to the cartels in the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, each year Americans are spending more on their medications, and receiving less for it.
Not only do these cartels help jack up the prices of prescription medications, but they also work to limit your choices.
To give you an example, I recently treated a young man for cellulitis.
His case had become so severe that his muscles were multi-drug resistant.
At that point, it was clear to me that his only option was Linezolid.
But when my patient got to the pharmacy with his prescription they turned him away.
They said that because he was on Medicaid, they couldn’t give him the drug without ‘prior authorization.’
I called the pharmacy on his behalf and asked how much it would be if he paid in cash. $1,500 she told me. For a month’s supply!
My patient was starting to panic, but I told him not to worry. I had a solution.
I knew that Linezolid used to be a very expensive drug, but that since it was opened up to generic competition. The price should have been reduced significantly.
(Apparently, that didn’t stop the pharmacy from trying to sell it with a markup.)
So I went online to one of my top websites for prescriptions coupons. I printed out a coupon for Linezolid and he got the course of drugs he needed for just $50 instead of $1,500.
In the end, he didn’t need the government’s ‘prior authorization,’ nor did he have to re-mortgage his home to pay for the bill.
Instead, thanks to this one website he got the medication he needed for $50 and cured his cellulitis.
Think this sounds like a miracle? It’s not. I print coupons like this for my patients every single day. This saves them anywhere from $5 to $1,450 on each prescription.
I have two websites that I use for this, and they are my two secret weapons for saving money on prescription drugs.
Want to know what they are?
To put it simply, if you are a cash paying patient in the US, every single drug you buy should be purchased with the coupon from GoodRX.com.
This is my top site for saving money on prescriptions with prescription drug discount coupons.
You see, the pharmaceutical industry comes with this very weird cartelized system of organizations called pharmacy benefit managers.
What most people don’t know is that pharmacies have a two-tiered pricing system.
They have one price for cash customers and then they have a separate price for insurance company customers.
It’s really screwed up.
GoodRX.com compares prices across participating pharmacies to find you the lowest price.
It will also allow you to print a coupon that gets you that discount on that specific prescription drug.
This is the very same website that enabled me to save $1,450 for my patient who needed Linezolid.
Below you can see a quick search for Lipitor, one of the most common drugs in the US.
As you can see, the average cash price in your local pharmacy can be a lot more than $100.
With this website you can save up to 80 percent on your prescription in your local pharmacy. You can also see where else you can get it more cheaply.
That could be online or at the pharmacy across the street.
It’s a truly amazing tool, but most Americans don’t even know it exists.
You may want to sign up for one of their prescription discount cards as well for even more savings.
This website works slightly differently, but the result is the same: way cheaper prices for prescription drugs.
Here, rather than getting a list of prices and coupons to choose from, with Blink Health they give you their own discounted price.
You pay with your credit card directly on the site, and then show up at one of the pharmacies on their list to pick it up.
As you can see in the case of Lipitor, you can get even deeper cost savings here than on GoodRX.
So every time anyone goes to a pharmacy in the US, I recommend that they check both of these sites.
In a few clicks they can see what kinds of cost savings are possible.
Note, this applies not only to brand name drugs but generics as well.
Even a generic drug that goes for $40 from the pharmacy, might be just $7 with one of these sites.
Even if you can only save a couple of bucks on your prescription, it's worth it.
Multiply that over a year or more and it really adds up.
So if you're sick and tired of handing over your hard earned money to Big Pharma, it's time to start taking action.
These were three of my ‘white belt’ methods to help you save on prescription drugs.
I have used these to help my patients save hundreds and even thousands of dollars on their monthly prescription bills.
If you want to go even further to get even bigger healthcare savings, I have created a course just for you.
This is not only for prescriptions, but also insurance, doctors visits, and major treatments.
I call this comprehensive video course the Cash Patient Rebellion.
It teaches you everything you need to know to take your life out of the hands of Big Pharma.
I call these my 'black belt' methods. And I've compiled them all into one, easy-to-follow course.
Get your copy of my best prescription savings tips for easy reading later!