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3 Secret Tricks for Saving Money at Your Pharmacy

Tim Boyer's picture
Saving Money at Pharmacy

It’s a fact of life and living - the older you get, the more money you will have to spend at your pharmacy. But does this mean that you have no control over where and how much money you will spend on your prescription meds? According to Doctor Oz, the answer is a resounding “No” as he reveals to viewers 3 secret tricks for saving money at your pharmacy.


“Today, three surprising secrets that can save you big money at the pharmacy,” promises Dr. Oz as he introduces repeat special guest Stacia Woodcock, Pharm. D. who tells Dr. Oz that one of the biggest mistakes people make when buying their prescription medications is that they do not take advantage of the potential savings that are available.

“You can always talk to your pharmacist about ways to decrease your monthly expenses at your pharmacy,” says Ms. Woodcock.

According to Ms. Woodcock, saving money at the pharmacy is possible if you use the 3 following simple secret tricks every time you go to get a prescription filled at your pharmacy:

Pharmacy Secret Trick #1: Coupons may be used at pharmacies

“Coupons may in fact be used for prescriptions,” says Dr. Oz as Ms. Woodcock explains that the trick is in finding those money-saving coupons.

“The reason why a lot of people don’t know that there are coupons for prescriptions is that they aren’t available at the pharmacy―these are coupons that come directly from the drug manufacturer. You can get them at your doctor’s office, but more often you have to go online and do some research to find then and print them out,” says Ms. Woodcock who points out that some coupons can reduce your co-pay every single month resulting in significant savings.

Pharmacy Secret Trick #2: Many drugs have less expensive alternatives

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According to Ms. Woodcock, many people are under the mistaken belief that less expensive alternative medications is about having to take a generic drug in place of the name-brand formulation. The truth, however, is that in many cases the preferred medication may be a name-brand one as well.

“We are talking about drugs that are preferred by your insurance company. Within a class of drugs there are usually multiple different options that your doctor can prescribe. But there is only one or two that are preferred by your insurance company at a lower co-pay. So if your doctor does not write for one of those two drugs, you are going to pay more out of pocket. So it’s important to pay attention to your insurance formulary and ask your doctor to write for the preferred drug within the class to lower your cost.

This lowered cost can be significant as Dr. Oz and Ms. Woodcock point out that a non-preferred drug can result in a co-pay of $50-$100; whereas, a preferred drug co-pay can be as little as $5-$25.

Pharmacy Secret Trick #3: Medicare Part D prescription co-pays do vary by pharmacy

“I like to call this the Medicare ‘Switch ‘n Save,’” says Ms. Woodcock who explains that a survey done by her pharmacy showed that what many people do not know is that Medicare does have a preferred pharmacy provider where you will pay a lower co-pay at, than if you went to just any pharmacy chosen at random or due to convenience.

“We looked at the Walgreen’s patients that filled with us last year as their preferred provider and they saved an average of $135 annually…so it’s important to pay attention to who the preferred provider is on your plan,” advises Ms. Woodcock.

For more information on how to save money at your pharmacy by finding free medications, click-on the titled link “Save Money with Dr. Oz's Free Prescription Medicine Program Advice.”

Image Source: Courtesy of PhotoBucket

Reference: The Dr. Oz Show