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Coping with rising prescription drug prices

Comparison shopping online is one way for consumers

Comparison shopping online is one way for consumers to deal with rising prescription drug prices. Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/okskaz

When it comes to health care, prices tend to go in one direction — up. And, according to an analysis by RX Savings Solutions, that trend continues: Three dozen drugmakers intend to raise prices on more than 250 prescription drugs. The average price increase will be around 6.3 percent, but some drugs will jump 10 percent or more.

 There are ways around those rising costs. Here’s how to save on drugs, without splitting pills and skipping meds.

Hop online allows you to compare pharmacy prices in your area and get coupons and discounts. You can also Google your drug and the manufacturer’s name and possibly find a manufacturer’s coupon.

Seek out assistance programs

Some drugmakers help patients who can’t afford their medications, typically with a discount coupon. “Examine it closely, as there can be specific terms, such as a limited number of uses,“ says Brady McNulty, a pharmacist and affiliate faculty member at Oregon Health & Sciences University in Roseburg, Oregon.

Open a health savings account

HSAs allow you to save 25 percent off out-of-pocket medical expenses by using pretax funds (assuming you have combined state and federal income taxes of 25 percent or more). Says Alex Cyraic, CEO of Lively, an HSA platform for employers and individuals, “The money you save this year can be used for years to come.”

Speak up

“Sometimes your insurance copay is higher than the cash price for the drug," says Christopher Lee, clinical solutions marketing manager for Family Health Centers in San Diego. "Pharmacy staff may be prohibited from volunteering this information to you. Ask which is cheapest.” Also, ask for a 90-day supply instead of a 30-day — it’s cheaper on a per-pill basis.


A previous version of the story had an incorrect name for the company Lively, whose URL is 


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