How to Get the Cheapest Prescription Medications

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With the high cost of pharmaceuticals, it can be distressing to face some of the charges, particularly if you have no health insurance or insufficient coverage. However, many ways exist to save money on medications, if you become intentional and employ a few strategies.

Check if your pharmacy offers a generic version. Generic drugs are composed of the same active ingredients and are Food and Drug Administration-approved like brand name drugs.

Find out the generics your pharmacy carries. Provide a list to your doctor and request a prescription from that list, if possible. Certain pharmacies offer cheap generic drugs, including Target, Wal-Mart, CVS and Walgreens.

Check around for a transfer prescription coupon. One may come in the mail, as a newspaper insert or sometimes it appears online. Seldom is a transfer coupon available for new prescriptions but you might find out for an ongoing prescription around. CVS will match the competition’s ads to try and keep your business so you can use Walgreens/Target coupons there.

Play the transfer "game" as do some dedicated coupon users. They start at one place, use a coupon to transfer to the next, get money back, then go back. If you have an ongoing prescription, this is a good way to save money.

Check the Internet for a rebate or coupon when you must obtain an expensive brand name drug. A great site is, which lists both over-the-counter and prescription medications.

Make sure your doctor knows you have no insurance or a policy with poor coverage. Ask him to prescribe a generic medication or ask for free samples. This will at least get you started so you know whether you can tolerate the medication before buying.

Check if your local independent pharmacy matches the $4 prices and avoid going into the busy big box stores. This will get you better, faster service at the same low price.


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  • Jack Hollingsworth/Photodisc/Getty Images