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Altostrata

Low-cost drugs: Getting your prescription filled on a budget

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Altostrata

For most antidepressants there's no reason to cut tapering short and risk withdrawal because you don't have insurance and can't afford high drug costs.

 

In the US, Walmart and Target, pharmacies have a list of generic medications for $4 for a month's prescription.

 

(If you have insurance, you may not be eligible for these programs! How messed up is that???)

 

RiteAid has a larger selection of $8.99 prescriptions, including generic Zoloft (sertraline).

 

Walgreen's has low-cost generics and discounted prescriptions. Many supermarket chains also have discounted generic prescriptions.

 

Phone the large chain pharmacies and supermarkets near you to find how much they'll charge for your prescription.

 

In the US, also see Blink Health for low-cost generic drug prescriptions.

 

If you are taking a brand-name drug and can't afford to pay for it, pharmaceutical manufacturers have subsidy programs for those in need. Phone the manufacturer of your expensive medication and inquire about their Patient Assistance Programs.

Edited by Altostrata
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Skyler

Link to RxAssist Patient Assistance Programs FYI. I dont know anyone who's used this service.

 

http://www.rxassist.org/default.cfm

 

This is helpful Barb, and worth checking, but and fyi, the financial floor for eligibility is very low. I helped people apply a few years back, and they were often disappointed. We don't offer much for folks with financial issues. The pits.

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meistersinger

If you can get medicaid,generics may be at no charge. For example, in PA, since I am on medicaid, i get my generics and on formulary scripts(lisinopiril/HCTZ, atenolol, Novalin-R) at no charge, everything else (Lantus, syringes, Viibryd, test strips) I pay 3.00 per script.

Edited by scallywag
delete unnecessary quote of first post

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Skyler

 

If you can get medicaid,generics may be at no charge. For example, in PA, since I am on medicaid, i get my generics and on formulary scripts(lisinopiril/HCTZ, atenolol, Novalin-R) at no charge, everything else (Lantus, syringes, Viibryd, test strips) I pay 3.00 per script.

 

Hi meister.. the problem is, many people don't qualify for medicaid. Therein is the rub. For example, in RI there is no more general public assistance, so people who do not have children are automatically disqualified. There is help thru the mental health system, but that is often predicated on taking meds as prescribed and I don't think non mental health scripts are covered. There used to be a waiver of sorts for people who were pending SSI acceptance, though I'm not sure what happened to this. The situation is dire. And some go into protracted withdrawal because coverage is stopped. ~S

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Barbarannamated

Agree that most programs from pharmaceutical manufacturers are difficult to qualify for. Likely a tax write-off/PR maneuver. There are many links within that site to hundreds of other programs - some government, others independent/nonprofit disease-based. http://www.rxassist.org/sitemap.cfm

 

The rebate/coupon programs FROM PHARMA are aimed at "new buyers". I've used a few different ones and have been subsequently shut out from ever using coupon for same drug again "first time buyers only/one to a customer". Similar to Verizon "promotion applies to new customers only". GRRR}}}

 

Sorry- I have a problem with any companies that have no "loyal customer" incentive. Of course, samples are being phased out. I pulled up one COPAY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM that has income qualification of 500% of National Poverty Level. http://www.copays.org/resources/pain.php

 

I had a prescription discount card that I used when I paid out of pocket for prescriptions then submitted receipts for 80% reimbursement. I got scripts at Target where i used their rewards VISA card which 'earned' me 10% coupons regularly. I used the prescription discount card (independent companies, download online - some very dramatic price differences between pharmacies), then my 10% coupon, then got reimbursed 80% of cost of drug BEFORE 10% deducted (that's what the pharmacy receipt showed). It was time-consuming, but saved quite a bit. I may have made money once. I pay co-pay at pharmacy now.

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meistersinger

I've also had to hit up the religious social services agencies in the past also. I've had to use Lutheran Social Services and Catholic Charities in the past to take care of my copays, as well as get food. Here in York county, there is a program called Healthy York Network, for the people that are working, but have no access to health insurance, or have Heath insurance, but have such high deductibles as not to be worth having. I've also had to ask my congregation for help more than once. I've also had to ask my mother's congregation (while she was living) for help with her medications and Medicare coverage. Unfortunately, the teabaggers even want to take that away, as well as ANY kind of social support. Yes, I believe social welfare programs should be temporary, however, there is such a large stigma attached to welfare that it is next to impossible to escape, no matter what. Even with a diagnosis of Asperger's, I fear I'll never escape this labyrinth, no matter how hard I try.

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Barbarannamated

This issue is triggered frequently for me due to the high illegal population in my area. I will reserve that for the Rants area. :o

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areyouthere

I think it ironic that no one mentioned getting drugs from Canada on line. I investigated it to some degree when I thought that I would lose my insurance through my employer. Turns out I will not because of Cobra but get this:

 

 

All of these quotes are for a 90 day supply and are "around " figures. I threw away the quotes as I didn't need them.

 

Cost of Lexapro brand name without insurance in US~ $524 from Canada ( filled in Turkey)~ $124

 

Buproprion (generic Wellbutrin ) - without insurance over $600 in US!!! from Canada (filled in UK) ~ $ 109

 

You can't get "controlled" drugs such as xanax online.

 

In order to get drugs from a Canadian Phar. you need to fax a written prescription from your doc to them.

 

It is LEGAL to do this.

 

I purchased both lexapro & Buproprion & have the lexapro here already. I am NOT going to use it but when I see my doc. next I am going to bring the drugs with me to show him. I am also going to call a local compounding pharmacy to see if they may be interested in doing a bio assay of the drugs.

 

Let me say that I am so relieved to not have to worry about getting the correct drugs to taper FROM!!! And I would also like to ask WHO is getting all that money for these drugs?? AND WHY is xanax so CHEAP? I swear, A person could get rich selling that stuff on the streets. As a street drug, xanax is very profitable.

 

Just some food for thought.

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Altostrata

If you're in the US and can take a generic, I'd contact one of the big chain stores (Target, Walmart, Costco, Walgreen's) and see if the medication is on their $4-up list.

 

Recently, I found an online US pharmacy, https://www.healthwarehouse.com/ , that seems to have very good prices for generics. A 90-day supply of buproprion XL 150mg (Wellbutrin XL) is $75.00, with free shipping.

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areyouthere

GREAT tip!!! I also see they have 75 mg. tablets. Do you see that as being helpful in tapering from 300 mg.? The whole XL tablet thing has me going a little bit. But I have time to figure that out. I'm starting with the lexapro first.

 

I have a very flexible doc. He's the one who I saw to get these drugs. A VERY nice guy. He's kind of "grown up" since I've started seeing him. I plan on asking more probing questions about his feelings/observations/experience/opinion about these meds & long term use at this next appt.

 

It's an expensive 45 minute talk...but since he LIKES to hear HIMSELF talk more than anything ( which has always annoyed me..on my dime) this may be an advantage. He;s a psychiatrist by the way not a GP. Likes to remind me of his Mayo clinic background ..... I have to bite my tongue... my daughter did her clinicals there, earned her NP there and worked in endocrinology up until recently... 10 years. She doesn't have a whole lot of good to say about this guy but I like him.

 

He seriously is willing to try anything. It's just that all he knows and has been trained in his trying is always another pill, another dose ....

 

He wrote the script for Canada. I hope he'll work with me on possible going with oral liquid Lexapro & figuring out how to best taper the Well. XL. Still processing a plan here.

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Altostrata

See the Tips for Tapering Wellbutrin topic.

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Brandy

For people who need meds that aren't on the $4 programs Alto mentions, or who run into conflicts because of insurance, there's another option. There are a lot of free discount cards that are accepted at many pharmacies (small independent pharmacies as well as big chain stores) that cost nothing, have no eligibility requirements, and you can have other insurance and use whichever gives you the lowest price. You can print the card out from your computer and use it immediately - no waiting. The pharmacy has to accept the card you use, but at least in my area almost all of them do. Even small "mom and pop" independent drug stores.

 

Quite some time ago I had printed out a card offered free through the auto club (AAA). Soon after that I picked up a card at my local library offering a "prescription savings card" offered through my city. (Naturally I was skeptical because my city has a 20-year waiting list just to fix potholes and broken sidewalks (!), but although the mayor's heroically smiling face is plastered all over the website associated with it, reading further shows that the pharmacies pay for the program, which is administered by a prescription plan company but is not actual insurance so no conflict.

 

My pharmacy ran both through the computer and it turned out in this case the free card offered through the city offered a greater discount than the AAA card. They keep it on file in the computer and I get the savings on all prescriptions. The various cards I'm now learning about say you can have more than one (their card and an insurance card, if applicable) and use whichever offers you the lowest price.

 

My most recent Swanson's vitamins order including a bunch of yet another such cards from another source. Haven't tried that one yet but I will. They're all similar but discounts can vary. Make sure they say, as mine do, that you will never be charged more than the regular price the pharmacy charges for the prescription (you never have to use the card at any given time). I've never had that happen, though the discounts for generics are far greater than those for brand name, based on a few I ran through on some of the programs' websites.

 

For example, I recently got a prescription filled at my usual pharmacy, for 30 tabs clonazepam (generic for klonopin). With the savings card I use, the cost was $6.74. I just called the pharmacy to find out what the cost would have been without the card - he said depending on brand (I request a specific brand for consistency) it probably would have been about $20.00 - 27.00, depending on the brand. (I know from past inquiries that they only order the brand I want to honor my request for it, because they usually buy a brand that's cheaper. So it's probably more on the upper end of that range.)

 

Not as good as the chain stores' $4 generics - but I don't think any of them even cover benzos. And since this is a savings card, there's no conflict if you have insurance.

 

If you google with the search terms: free drug discount card -- preceded by the name of your city, county, state, you'll probably find several that you can get. Some will offer better discounts than others. And when you print the card out, you don't necessarily have to enter your email or phone number, and often not even your name. Just ignore that - the codes on the card generated will work.

 

Being very concerned about privacy, I realized that even though the card I use doesn't even have my name on it (picked it up at the library counter; didn't even have to print it out), they of course will be able to track your meds through the code on the cards, I would think. But there is no privacy among insurance or employer prescription plans about what meds you get, and these are the same companies that offer the employer-paid prescription plans, it seems. Certainly check out the companies themselves if you have concerns.

 

Here's an article from an NBC news website that was linked from one of the plans' websites: MedSaverCard can save you... The article lists a few of the cards available nationwide. Many of the cards' websites have the capability to see which pharmacies in your area accept the card. (The tech at my pharmacy didn't even realize they were affiliated with it, but once he checked he found they indeed are, and he was amazed at the savings.) Some of the sites let you enter the med and quantity and see what price they've negotiated with the pharmacies to charge.

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Altostrata

Good tip, Brandy.

 

Recently, I found the free AAA drug discount card offered the most savings for a prescription ointment, better than the free AARP card. I just picked up another card that was in a display in my doctor's office.

 

My pharmacy, Walgreen's, gave me the best price after checking all the discount cards I had. The ointment still cost $25, but it would have been more like $50 without the discount.

 

Also, if your insurance is about to end, refill prescriptions early, while you can get insurance coverage, and use the medications later.

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Barbarannamated

My insurance is very strict about refilling scripts early. If a drug is once/day, they will give me that exact amount and only refill 3 days before my supply runs out. It's EXTREMELY anxiety-producing. Even when ive had to travel, they will not make exception. The pharmacist may be cooperative, but insurance wont cover. Ive even tried to pay cash and not go through insurance and they block it. I just had this happen with estrogen patches. I have Caremark/CVS insurance.

 

They also try to push a 90 day supply when possible. I recently had a script for 30 days of trazodone and had to pay cash because insurance would only cover 90 days.

 

It's become a circus.

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Altostrata

https://www.healthwarehouse.com/ is offering a special today only, Friday, August 17, 2012 with coupon code FREEFRIDAY

 

Their shipping in the US is free, too.

 

Free Friday Prescriptions!

We're hosting Free Friday! Today, new prescription customers or current customers transferring their prescriptions to HealthWarehouse.com can obtain a free 30-day supply of any generic medication we carry. The offer is valid today only. Details are provided below:

 

* Only available today from 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. ET

* Valid on new and transferred prescriptions only*

* Limited to $500 per customer / per order

* Typical turn-around of 3-5 business days

* Valid for a 30-day supply only

* Enter the code noted on the banner to receive the generic medication for free

Limit $500 worth per customer! You can get those expensive liquids.

 

I've ordered from this site and found their service to be excellent. You order the medication and then they contact your pharmacy for a transfer or your doctor can fax or phone an order to them afterward. It works very well.

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Altostrata

Can anyone recommend online Canadian pharmacies for those in the US?

 

In the US, the best online pharmacy I've found is https://www.healthwarehouse.com/

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areyouthere

I use this one from Canada. Be sure to check for quality and certifications. I've found Blue Sky to be good. You still need a prescription & if I'm not mistaking benzos they won't do.

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Rhiannon

Interesting. I never heard of those prescription cards. My insurance, which is crappy in most regards, covers prescriptions pretty well, but I've been without insurance a lot of the time.

 

I have family living within a few miles of the US/Mexico border and I've bought meds at Mexican pharmacies from time to time--usually no prescription required and very low prices, but I've never tried to get "controlled substances" there.  Next time I go down in the fall I'm going to see which of my meds I would be able to get there if I needed it, in case I run into problems with prescriptions. From what I've heard you can get the controlled stuff, you just have to see a doctor first and get a prescription.

 

Along the border there are a lot of dentists and doctors who practice there because of the demand for affordable health care for American citizens due to our crappy health care system. Same with pharmacies. It's interesting to see.

 

I wonder if the Affordable Care Act is going to affect their business flow...Probably not the dentists anyway.

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Altostrata

Walgreen's list of "valued-priced" prescriptions http://www.walgreens.com/images/psc/VPG_List_Update_01-02-2015.pdf

The price for a generic drug is based on its tier and whether it is a 30-day or 90-day supply:

30 - day-supply drugs cost $5 (tier 1) , $ 10 (tier 2) or $15 (tier 3)

90 - day-supply drugs cost $10 (tier 1), $20 (tier 2) or $30 (tier 3)

 

 

Many generic psychiatric drugs are on this list.

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Altostrata

A contact on Facebook reports her doctor faxes prescriptions to http://canadadrugs.com, another large mail-order Canadian pharmacy.

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oskcajga

For the small price of $8.99/month you can become dependent on one of the most powerful drugs known on Earth!

 

What a deal!

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Altostrata

Walmart's latest list of $4 generic drug prescriptions http://i.walmart.com/i/if/hmp/fusion/genericdruglist.pdfincluding

 

Amitriptyline 10mg tab

Amitriptyline 25mg tab*

Amitriptyline 50mg tab*

Amitriptyline 75mg tab*  

Amitriptyline 100mg tab*  

Benztropine 2mg tab    

Buspirone 5mg tab    

Buspirone 10mg tab*   

Citalopram 20mg tab    

Citalopram 40mg tab    

Fluoxetine 10mg cap*    

Fluoxetine 10mg tab*    

Fluoxetine 20mg cap*    

Fluoxetine 40mg cap*    

Haloperidol 05mg tab    

Haloperidol 1mg tab    

Haloperidol 2mg tab    

Haloperidol 5mg tab    

Lithium Carbonate 300mg cap*

Nortriptyline 10mg cap*  

Nortriptyline 25mg cap*  

Paroxetine 10mg tab*    

Paroxetine 20mg tab*    

Prochlorperazine 10mg tab

Trazodone 50mg tab    

Trazodone 100mg tab    

Trazodone 150mg tab*   

Trihexyphenidyl 2mg tab

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