Prescription cost is the fastest growing expense at the Trust.
The Trust tries to use every tool available to help keep your pharmacy costs down. We thought it might be good to share again ideas that you can use when buying prescriptions:
- Ask your pharmacist if you are buying the drug in the most cost effective way possible.
Your Pharmacist can be your best resource to help reduce costs.
- Buy generic unless your doctor recommends only the brand name.
In most all cases, the active ingredients are the same and should save you money. And co-pays for generic drugs are less than for the name brand in your Trust plan.
- Ask your doctor for free samples.
Pharmaceutical companies regularly leave samples of branded drugs for physicians and while a sample pack may not be the full quantity you need, it can reduce the number you have to purchase.
- Shop different pharmacies.
Some larger ones can provide the same drug at a lower cost since they buy in such large volume. Price your drugs at several pharmacies to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
- Use one pharmacy if you can.
Once you find the best one for saving money, use it for everything. It’s much easier to keep everything in order, avoid unnecessary prescriptions and make sure you are not paying too much when all your prescriptions are in one place.
- See if larger doses of your drug are available in tablet form.
You can ask your doctor if they could prescribe a larger dose in pill form. Then, cut the pills in half or even quarters for the right dosage. There are some pills that cannot be cut or are too small to cut, so be sure to ask your pharmacist ahead of time.
- Search for COUPONS!
Ask your pharmacist, or search the internet using your drug name and the word “coupon” to look for discounts. Big discounts are often available, especially with more expensive drugs.
- Consider mail-order pharmacy service.
Co-pays are usually less and often drugs are cheaper.
- Call the Drug Maker!
This often works if you have a particularly expensive drug. Go to the pharmaceutical company’s web site or call their customer service department. Many companies offer discounts or free samples, especially for people who are in a lower wage category, or suffering from a chronic condition.
- Use the OPTUM Rx Mobile App to manage your prescriptions and seek discounts.
Optum is committed to helping our members.
- Be your own advocate.
No one understands your situation as well as you. Take charge and make sure you are receiving all the help available. Ask questions of both your doctor and your pharmacist.
Good questions to ask your Pharmacist!
Could we meet so I can review all my medications with you?
It is recommended to annually review all your prescriptions with your pharmacist. Try to avoid peak times during the day when pharmacies are busy. Ask your pharmacist about the best time to come in or call so you’ll have his or her full attention.
Does taking this medication mean I can or should stop taking another medication?
Drug interactions are easily overlooked if you don’t ask. And you could save money if you are taking duplicate meds.
Are there any concerns if I keep taking my vitamins, herbs, supplements, and/or over-the-counter medications?
Non-prescription drugs can interfere with prescription drugs. It’s a good practice to let your pharmacist know everything you are taking. Many don’t realize that vitamins, herbs and supplements are all forms of drugs.
Are there any resources to help me with the cost of my medications?
Many times your pharmacist will know of patient assistance programs you may qualify for.