Published April 10th, 2020 by USA Rx
The rising cost of prescription drugs in the United States continues to be a problem for many Americans who regularly take prescription medications. Compared to the rest of the world, prescription drug prices are much higher in the U.S. Most prescription drugs have a standard market list price that applies no matter where you buy them. All you need is a prescription from your doctor to get access to these drugs. How much you have to pay out-of-pocket for the medication will depend on what type of health insurance you have and whether your plan covers prescription drugs. Most pharmacies also have different prices on the drugs that they sell. We usually see this with even over-the-counter drugs. The price of a commonly used painkiller like acetaminophen will be different at one pharmacy compared to another. Similarly, prescription drug prices for a commonly prescribed drug, like amoxicillin, used to treat bacterial infections can be different at one pharmacy compared to another one down the street.
How can you find the best deal when purchasing a prescription drug? Many pharmacies offer discounted prices on prescriptions drugs. These prices are applicable even without health insurance and can usually be taken advantage of by signing up for a special membership with them, or by using discount cards that are offered by them. The major chain pharmacies in the U.S. offer these kinds of discounts. Walgreens is one of the two major pharmacy chains in the U.S with over 9,000 locations dispersed across the country. If you search for a Walgreens near you, you will most likely find a location within a few miles of your home. Each Walgreens carries the usual selection of over-the-counter drugs as well as a pharmacy with prescription medications. The benefit of filling your prescription at a pharmacy like Walgreens is since they have many branches, in case you move or need to change pharmacy locations, your account can be accessed from their electronic records. So, how can you save on prescription medications at Walgreens? Do prescriptions drugs have to cost you so much?
Prescription discount cards that can be applied at Walgreens are a great option for bringing the cost of these drugs down. Everyone knows what a discount card is. How are prescription discount cards applied to saving on prescription drugs and how can you use them at Walgreens? Read on to find out.
Common questions about prescription discount cards are whether they are safe, legitimate, and if they can be used along with health insurance. Some prescription discount cards charge a small fee to get. However, there are many good discount cards out there that are completely free of charge to sign up for and can be used at major pharmacies like Walgreens.
Prescription discount cards offer lower prices on certain drugs compared to the pharmacy’s list price through the company that offers the discount card. The discount card company does this by negotiating lower prices on drugs directly with groups that work with providers of the drug. Basically, a discount card is getting you a ‘group’ price for the cost of your individual prescription drug. Mainly three types of companies have prescription discount cards available that you can sign up for.
Pharmacy benefit managers (PBM): You may not have heard of PBMs, but they play a major role in deciding how much a drug will cost. Often, discounted prices on drugs are solely determined by PBMs because these are companies that are hired by insurance companies to manage prescription drug benefits.
Marketing Agencies: Certain marketing agencies offer discount cards that can give you a discounted price on prescription drugs in return for collection of your data. They then sell your data to drug manufacturers and insurance companies.
Private companies: Some private companies offer discount cards that are accepted at most major pharmacy chains and the pharmacy pays the company a transaction fee every time that drug is purchased.
Does it make a difference whether you get a card from each of these groups? It should not make a difference to you what kind of agency you get your discount card from, as long as it consistently gives you the lowest prices on prescription drugs without much pharmacy-to-pharmacy variability, and as long as the card is free. Pharmacies accept discount cards under the assumption that more customers will purchase a drug if the price is lower, giving them an overall better profit on the drug.
Let's take a look at the different kinds of discount cards that are available for use at Walgreen’s pharmacy.
The SingleCare card is a discount card that can be used exclusively at Walgreens. This card boasts savings on prescription drugs up to 80% and is free to sign up for. SingleCare is a private company so they make deals directly with pharmacies to get your more savings on your prescription drugs. Using the SingleCare card gives you a discounted cash price on a drug that can be lower than the cost of your co-pay amount with your insurance. This is especially true for individuals with high co-pay rates or for people without health insurance that covers prescription drugs.
The Easy Drug Card is a discount card that can be used at Walgreens Pharmacies. This card also boasts up to 80% savings on prescription drugs. The card is free to sign up for and can also be used at other pharmacies like CVS.
There are many other similar cards to the Easy Drug Card that are offered by various marketing agencies and private companies that can be presented at Walgreen’s pharmacies.
Walgreens has their own private program to save money on prescription drugs called the Walgreens Prescription Savings Club. This program gives savings on over 8,000 drugs through purchase at their pharmacy and some of the discounted rates cannot be found by using any discount card. However, enrolling in this program is not free. Walgreens charges a membership fee to be eligible for this program. They offer both individual and family rates. By charging a fee, the chances that a customer will stick to their pharmacy will be higher. If you routinely take a specific prescription drug that is expensive even with a discount card, but has a special rate under the Walgreens saving programs, then signing up for this club could be a good option for you. Like with any drug though, the savings you avail on a specific drug could be subject to changes over time.
Some prescription discount cards offer you more flexibility than others. One great option like this is the discount card available from USA Rx. This card can be presented at more than 90% of pharmacies across the country, including in Alaska and Hawaii. With a card like this, you are not forced to fill your prescriptions at any one pharmacy like Walgreens. If you find a cheaper price on a drug at another pharmacy with the discount card and want the option of purchasing it there, you can simply take your discount card from USA Rx to the new pharmacy to fill your prescription and save. USA Rx also gives you the ability to compare prices of prescription drugs at different pharmacies on their website so you can see what the final discounted price of a drug will be before you make your purchase. This helps you find the pharmacy that is right for you. To sign up for the card, you can enter your name, print the card, and take it with you to the pharmacy when filling your prescription. You can also look up whether a particular pharmacy accepts the USA Rx card on the website. Even if your pharmacy is not listed, there is a good possibility that they accept the card and you can contact them to find out.
The best prescription discount card for you will depend on the medication that you want to use it for since certain discount card companies make tailored deals with pharmacies. Once you obtain your prescription discount card, using it to save at Walgreens, or any other pharmacy, is easy. Follow these steps:
With a discount card like the one from USA Rx, you should already have an idea of how much you can save at Walgreens, since you can search for the price of a specific drug on the USA Rx website. By using this process, saving more on prescription drugs is now a real possibility.