Published October 8th, 2019 by Stephanie
Medicine occupies a unique position in American life. It’s far from being cheap and affordable, like general goods such as candy bars or fast food, but at the same time, it may be indispensable, even a requirement, to stay alive. Medicine can help us to recover from illness, such as the medications prescribed by doctors when we fall sick or have just undergone a medical procedure. However, medicine can also be important in keeping us alive, as insulin helps regulate body activity for people with diabetes.
This means that when we need medicine, especially if we have a permanent medical condition like asthma, or a heart problem, buying medication is not just an expensive hobby, as shopping for fine wines might be. Unlike dining out, or shopping, if you’re trying to save money, cutting corners and not buying medication is not an option, since it can endanger health, and even lead to death.
Some Americans have the good fortune to be wealthy, so no matter how expensive medication is, it’s ultimately a trivial cost. Other Americans may not be rich, but they work full-time jobs with supportive companies that have many benefits, such as a comprehensive medical insurance policy that even covers medication with co-pay systems in place. Other Americans don’t have these safety nets, but that doesn’t mean they are at a complete disadvantage.
One way to save money is to use a prescription savings app. But what is this, and how does it work? To understand what this can for shoppers with prescription needs, let’s take a closer look at the pharmaceutical business.
The most important thing to understand about the pharmaceutical market in the USA is that there are no legal limitations on pricing. Some countries, such as Canada, for example, have laws in place that require medication be affordable to the public, so insulin, for example, must be accessible, is sold, on average, for about $30 Canadian, or about USD$ 22.60. The same dosage of insulin, of the same quality and effectiveness, costs $300 in the United States, not because it is better, but simply because pharmacies legally can, so they do.
Because pharmacies can charge whatever they like on pharmaceutical products, this means that there is a sometimes massive variance in the kinds of prices that people pay for the same medication. A pharmacy located in an affluent neighborhood, for example, may charge 300—400% more for their drugs, because they know their customers are wealthy, and often too lazy to drive further out to buy their medication at a cheaper location. However, that same medication maybe 25-50% less than the average retail price in a less affluent neighborhood, because the pharmacist there cares about residents, and wants to ensure that people have access to the medications they need.
In other words, pricing of pharmaceuticals is almost entirely up to the personal choice of the pharmacists, and whatever their greed or conscience dictates is feasible.
Before the advent of phones, and the software used on them that we now call apps, short for “applications,” it was always possible to save money on prescription medication, it just involved a lot more homework and leg work. People needed to comparison shop, looking at the prices they paid at one pharmacy, and then finding out what other pharmacies charged. Through thorough but time-consuming investigation, the prices of various drugs at different pharmacies could be compiled, and then shoppers in the know could go to those pharmacies that offered the best savings, with lower prices. As you might imagine, in a pre-Internet world, this was a tedious and very lengthy way to go about things.
A prescription savings app can eliminate a lot of the time wasted in research and “grunt work” going from one pharmacy to another and filing away prices. A database is compiled online that tracks different pharmacies and the prices they have for different medications. All a user with such an app has to do is put in certain parameters, like the medications that are needed, and the narrow the field of the search. After all, if you live in Chicago, Illinois, you’re only concerned about pharmacy prices in or near the city, you’re not really after the prices in Aus-tin, Texas right now.
With a prescription savings app, you can look at all the prices of medication you need at pharmacies near you and do a much faster, more efficient form of comparison shopping. One thing to keep in mind is that no one app is perfect. There may be pharmacies listed in one app that do not appear in another app, so sometimes it pays to use multiple apps in case you have different pharmacies you like to shop at that aren’t given equal coverage in any one app.
While there are a few established apps already on the market, it’s important to keep an eye out for new software with new improvements. The USA Rx website, which already provides a nationwide discount card is now happy to announce that we’re going to release our very own, brand new prescription savings app on September 11 to help people shop even smarter when it comes to looking for good prices on their prescription medication.
USA Rx created the first free mobile app in the industry that provides you with the ability to search, view, and compare prescription drug prices at leading discount pharmacies in your neighborhood. It puts the savings in the palm of your hand. When you combine this with the additional savings you can get from using the USA Rx discount card, you can enjoy anywhere from 10-75% of different medications. Moreover, these discounts are recognized and applied at over 60000 pharmacies across all 50 states of the USA, whether it’s the big retail chains, or small owner/operated pharmacies just around the corner.
So if you’re looking for an easier way to pay lower prices on your medications, stop comparison shopping the old fashioned way. Try using a prescription savings app, and then combine with it discounts from a discount card. It’s the smart way to get medication.