Here's how to save on prescription drugs, even without insurance

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Saving money is on everyone's mind right now, and you could be missing out on hidden savings with your prescriptions.

Using these methods, it could be cheaper to pay out of pocket than even using insurance. We have our partners at Checkbook Magazine to thank for this one, they have figured out how to save big, as much as $100 on one medication.

"I was paying about a $10 copay. And all of a sudden, I went to the pharmacy and they said it's $122. And I said, Oh, no," said Herb Weisbaum of Checkbook Magazine.

So Weisbaum decided to get his medication a different way.

Instead of using his insurance, Weisbaum used a free website called GoodRX which offers coupons and searches for the cheapest cash price.

"My wife is also using GoodRx, she had two prescriptions that went from about a $10, or $20, copay to $145. They're now about $12. So, we figure we're saving about $1,000 a year by using GoodRX," he said.

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Weisbaum shared his findings with readers and the executive editor of Checkbook Magazine.

"It's wise for you to shop around and make sure you can't pay less than what your copay would be for your prescriptions," said Kevin Brasler of Checkbook Magazine.

We searched for a 30-day supply of the generic version of the cholesterol lowering drug, Lipitor.

Prices ranged from $49.40 at Walgreens to $15 at Walmart to $8.25 at Weis Pharmacy. Even less if you join a savings club, you'd pay as little as $4.67.

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"Fortunately these sites like GoodRX, and it's not the only one there are many others, make it easy to do so," said Brasler.

Others include America's Pharmacy, Blink Health, Optum Perks, SingleCare, RXSaver (by RetailMeNot) and WellRX.

"You put in your zip code you put in your prescription, and GoodRX and these other sites as well give you a list of drugstores that accept their coupon and what the price would be," said Brasler.

Here are more ways to save:

  • Mail order. Insurance companies typically have better prices online.
  • Buy a bigger amount, get a 90-day prescription over a 30-day.
  • Ask for free samples from your doctor.
  • Try filling your medication at warehouse stores, you don't need to be a member to shop at the pharmacy.

Another tip is to investigate patient assistance programs that have programs to help lower the costs.
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