Living with Chronic Pain
Medication Savings Programs in the United States
Prescription medications for long-term conditions, such as chronic pain, can be expensive. Medication savings programs can help make the medication more affordable. Various medication savings programs are available:
Prescription discount cards
The purpose of prescription discount cards is to reduce the price of medications purchased at a pharmacy. The company that sponsors the card negotiates a bulk discount on medication; they then receive a fee from the pharmacy if a prescription is filled with their card. In general, these cards are offered at no cost to the public.
Comparison websites or apps
These websites allow individuals to compare the cost of medications at a variety of local pharmacies to help them choose the most economical option.
Pharmacy-based discount drug programs
Some pharmacies offer their own cost-saving programs to reduce the price of prescriptions. These programs typically focus on generic medications. Some require an enrollment fee; whereas, others are offered at no cost.
Examples: $4 Generic Discount Drug Programs
These programs are run directly by the medication manufacturer. They typically cover most of the cost for a medication for up to 1 year or 12 total prescriptions. These programs are typically for brand name medications. If a specific medication has a manufacturer program available, it can usually be found by searching online.
Prescription assistance programs
Prescription assistance programs are run by medication manufacturers (brand name and generic) to help people in need receive needed medications at no cost. An application with questions about income and insurance must be done to qualify. This type of program is usually only available for those without insurance; however, with the increase in people under-insured, some manufacturers have broadened their qualification guidelines, depending on the quality of the applicant’s insurance coverage.