How to save money on prescriptions using discount drug cards

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Prescriptions can be costly, even with insurance, but there are ways you can save money.

Many viewers ask about prescription drug discount cards. While there are many cards out there, not all are created equal. What you need to know is that some cards can save you big, but the key is to do your research.

Sarah Pitkin was faced with a $1,500 bill when it came to a prescription she needed.

She couldn't afford it, so she went looking for a way to pay for it through research on GoodRx.

"I just entered in the information on my prescription, and I ended up paying eighty-eight dollars," she said.

Sarah was thrilled with more than $1,400 in savings.

GoodRx is a company that operates a free website and mobile app that tracks prescription drug prices.

You can find one of its prescription drug discount cards at doctors' offices.

Sarah actually does all of the research on the GoodRx app before she fills any prescription.

Here is how it works:


Put in the details of your prescription on the app and then you'll get the cost of the prescription at the pharmacies near you.

The price ranges from pharmacy to pharmacy, and you pick the one that meets your needs.

"A lot of times it's cheaper than using insurance," Sarah said.

Sarah also cautioned that she doesn't save money using the discount card on all of her prescriptions.

"It's not good for some medications, but the ones that it is, it's really good, a lot of savings."

GoodRX is not the only option. There are several other prescription drug discount cards you'll find at your doctor's office or local pharmacy, but the key is to do your research.

The cards are free you should not have to pay for the services.

Pharmacist Raj Manickam at Gurley's Pharmacy in Durham said the key to saving the most on prescriptions is checking several options before having the pharmacy fill your prescription.

"We can actually run it when we discuss the prescription to the patient. We will do a cost analysis," he said.

Manickam said besides drug-saving cards, most pharmacies have their own loyalty program that can save you money.

"We give the patient the option of what they want to do," says Manickam. "Sometimes the discount card is going to win, sometimes our loyalty program is going to win."

Typically pharmacies will price match if they can to get your business.

Here are the Troubleshooter Takeaways:


  • Know not all prescription cards are created equal.

  • Do your research before you fill your prescription to get the best price.

  • You need to show proof of the price you found to see if the pharmacy will match it. They don't have to.

  • Ask your pharmacy about loyalty programs as sometimes you'll save much more money going that route.

  • Don't forget about the cash price as that's sometimes cheaper than going through insurance.


  • One last tip for saving money is going to the manufacturer websites for coupons.

    Check out www.needymeds.org. On that website, type in your drug and you'll see all different types of coupons available, including the manufacturer coupon.

    The key is to always do your research because pharmacists are not required to tell patients about lower-cost options.
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