Living with Chronic Pain

Ways to Reduce Medication Costs


The cost of prescription medication can be expensive for many individuals with chronic pain. Some individuals who are on disability or whose medical insurance does not cover much in terms of prescription medications, may need to decide between paying for their medication or other household expenses. For individuals with better insurance, co-pays can still be quite costly.

Here are some general tips to help reduce medication costs:

  • Check what medications are in your insurance’s formulary. This is important as insurance companies regularly change their formularies, removing medications from coverage or now requiring certain medications to be pre-authorized.
  • Review which medications in the insurance formulary are listed in terms of cost tiers. It may be possible to switch to a medication in a less expensive tier.
  • Take the list of medications from the insurance formulary to doctor appointments and consult it when a new medication is being discussed, to check if it covered and how expensive it may be
  • Try a generic version of the medication, if available
  • Discuss with the prescribing doctor if there is a similar medication, ie medication in the same class, that can be substituted which has a lesser cost.
  • Look for coupons on a manufacturers’ website
  • Check online for prescription assistance programs (some will even cover individuals who are under-insured)
  • Compare prices at several pharmacies
  • Check out chain pharmacy drug saving plans that you can join for free or at a small cost
  • Ask for a smaller amount of a new medication, either via a doctor prescription or when dispensed from the pharmacy
  • Ask your pharmacist for help in reducing costs
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