Save Money on Prescription Meds

happypills2.jpgIf you require prescription medication, and are like me and have lots of pharmacies around, you should really check out your next Sunday newspaper. Almost every pharmacy around here regularly has a $15-$20 coupon if you switch your prescription to them from an outside company. I’ve almost gone through them all now – Safeway, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, and even Target Pharmacy. If you time it right you can just go to a new one every month. Time to see if we can make another complete roundtrip!

All you need to do is bring in your old prescription label, and they do the rest. This way, we are actually making money off of our meds since we only pay a $10 copay each time.


  1. Michael says:

    I’d imagine this doesn’t work if you’ve got an HMO like Kaiser Permanente, since they have their own pharmacies. If you need more coupons, people are selling them on eBay all the time.

  2. I recommend going to one pharmacy and sticking with them unless you move or are dissatisfied with their service. If you go to one pharmacy they’ll collect a complete profile of all prescription medications you take in their computer and will know if you are risking a drug interaction. They should then alert your doctor. If you move your prescriptions all over the place, then any one of your pharmacies will not be able to detect this problem, since they won’t know your complete medication profile.

    Granted, if you’re young and only have one prescription medication this isn’t such a serious issue. If for example, you’re just picking up birth control every 3 months, then your pharmacist isn’t going to be needed to pick up drug interactions. However, I wouldn’t recommend that you advise your parents or grandparents to do this if they are on a bunch of medicines …. especially if they were all prescribed by different specialists, alot of times these different physcians won’t know the other medicines their patients are taking.

    What really bothers me is that the pharmacies themselves encourage this behavior by making these coupons. But I guess once one store made them and the others had to respond.

    -A Pharmacist

  3. Susannah says:

    A lot of the pharmacies will take competitor’s coupons, so check on that, and if they do, then just use the highest value coupon.

  4. Been doing this for a while now, though Michael makes a point. You could tell the new pharmacies your other RX to put in their profiles though if this is a concern.
    I only transfer and use the coupons with one of my meds because get others through insurance plan mail order, it is cheaper. The reason I get the one at a retail pharmacy is that it is actually cheaper than mail order one. The mail order charges $20 each for all generic 90 day supplies, the local pharmacy charges about $5 for the particular one I am getting there(plus I get the $15-$20 coupon). So if you get your meds from your insurer’s mail order pharmacy you should check and see if any would actually be cheaper at a local pharmacy. I was quite surprised, so now if I get any new prescriptions I stop at or call local pharmacy and check price before deciding going local or mail order.

  5. Greling Jackson says:

    #1 Saving on Prescription drugs.

    Always get the generic brands of drugs. There’s no difference. By federal law, they must be just as safe and just as effective. Why pay $3.00 for a small box of Tylenol (a.k.a Acetominophen), Bayer (Asprin is asprin is all the same), Advil or Exedrin (Ibuprofen)? You can get a much larger bottle for only a dollar or two more.

    #2 “If for example, you’re just picking up birth control every 3 months, then your pharmacist isn’t going to be needed to pick up drug interactions.”

    I don’t know why people even buy birth control. You can get plenty of free condoms and lube at your local public health center or HIV/AIDS testing clinic. You can get free birth control pills and shots at your local Planned Parenthood.

    Don’t worry, you’re not really going to be costing them much. More often than not these materials are donated by corporations. Further, these centers tend to be oversupplied and tend to throw out a lot of large boxes of the expired stuff every month because not enough people come in.

  6. Jonathan – I love the site, and read it a lot.
    My wife & I started doing this exact same thing a few months ago, and it’s great because we get coupons for $25 if we transfer, and we have only a $5 copay.
    Keep up the good work – you’ve provided a lot of useful information, and I especially like some of the discussions that ensue.

  7. I rarely go to the doctor and don’t take any regular medications. Last year I had a prescription filled and while reading up about the med online on the drug’s official site, discovered a rebate was available. I would have never thought to check for that.

  8. I recommend checking out the insurance plan mail order if you use the same medicine regularly. Eventually you’ll run out of local pharmacies to switch to.

  9. Well, no, I never run out of local pharmacies to switch to. Just go round and round to same pharmacies. Transfer from A to B to C to D back to A.
    Also check out if local pharmacy is cheaper than mail order plan. It sometimes is in my case.

  10. Uh, I just saved $200 on the drug my company health plan won’t cover by getting it from a certain country that rhymes with Banada, if you get my drift.

    (Please, America, can we get on the single-payer system? I promise, it’s not socialism if you save money and get better results!)

  11. Not sure if we should get into this here, but if Etta’s going to bring it up I feel I need to reply.

    Yes, drugs are cheaper in Banada, and while hundreds, really thousands, of new drugs have been discovered in the US and Europe, how many new drugs have been developed in Banada….ever… the history of the Earth? Zero.

    Granted, most first world countries have some level of price control intermediate to the USA and Canada, who, although geographically adjacent are the polar opposites of this drug pricing scheme. However, you, as an American, are basically paying an extra amount for this innovation while Canadians are free riding. They access drugs developed outside of Canada without offsetting the innovation costs.

  12. Yes Banada does have price controls, and less dollars for innovation, BUT Banada also does not spend billions and billions a year on advertising-dollars which are better spent on research. Speaking of Banada-try I have used them for a while now and saved a few bucks.

    Another tip-buy a larger dosage (ask your doctor to write it for a higher one) and cut the pills in half. you can save up to 50% doing this.

  13. In response to Greling Jackson: “I don?t know why people even buy birth control. You can get plenty of free condoms and lube at your local public health center or HIV/AIDS testing clinic. You can get free birth control pills and shots at your local Planned Parenthood.”

    Planned Parenthood (at least where I lived) is based on a sliding scale for fees. When I was a student, it was free, but once I started working full-time, I had to pay. Plus, once women get to the age where they are going to have children, they will likely want to have a relationship with the ob/gyn who will deliver their baby.

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