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Find low cost generic medications.

While not all prescription medications have generics available for them, there are in fact hundreds of drugs that offer this options and the cost of them is much lower than a name brand prescription. The cost will be a fraction of what the name brand medication costs as well. It is always a good idea to ask a doctor, pharmacist or medical professional whether a generic medication is available for a certain condition. Find how to get generic prescription drugs below, tips to use for the best price, and other resources.

While the exact price of a generic medication will vary, the cost will generally be a fraction of the name brand equivalent. Some major retail pharmacies, such as Wal-Mart, Target, CVS, and others may sell them for under $10. That can be compared to some name brand medications that cost hundreds of dollars per year or more. There will also tend to be additional incentives given to consumers by health insurance companies to use a generic prescription drug for their condition.

The US Food and Drug Administration will approve all generics for use by patients. There is a rigorous testing procedure put into place by the federal government agency. This will ensure that they are all as safe to use and also as effective as their name brand equivalent. However, a patient should never take them without approval from their doctor (or another medical professional).

Sources of cheap generic medications

As noted, there are several places that offer discounts to patients. Or they set a price on them that is always low and competitive. The places to turn to include major retailers, local pharmacies, online websites, and even big box stores such as Costco.

There are some steps that shoppers should take though to ensure they get the best deal. The tips, and steps to take, are below.

First, do not always rely on a health insurance company (for those that are fully insured). There are some instances in which a pharmacy will list the retail price lower than what the insurance company provides it at. Ask the pharmacy if there are any discrepancies there, and if the retail price is lower, of course accept that.

A number of non-profits as well as charitable services allow patients to comparison shop. Or they may offer free coupons to buy generic medications to get even bigger discounts. There are in fact several different options available, and they include the following.





  • Needymeds is a price comparison site for generics, name brand medications, and even health insurance plans. Continue with Needymeds prescription comparisons.
  • Blink Health is a comparison shopping site. It will help patients find the lowest priced generics for their medical needs, whether they have health insurance or not. Continue with Blink Health.
  • Partnership for Prescription Assistance is a national non-profit. They focus on directing patients to low cost health care, including generic medications. Learn more on Partnership for prescription programs.
  • GoodRX provides free coupons, discounts, and rebates for generic medications. The non-profit also refers patients to other financial aid programs. More on GoodRx.

Free generic medications may be offered from pharmaceutical companies and their patient assistance programs. Almost every single drug company offer these. Note the programs tend to be for low income patients, seniors, and the uninsured. Read more about patient assistance programs for uninsured.

Savings on generic medications from stores and pharmacies

Be sure to get prescription drugs at one of the major retail pharmacies. Generics are much less costly at stores including the following. Wal-Mart; CVS; Target; Rite Aid; and other major chains. A “local mom and pop” or independent pharmacy may not offer the same price points as some of the national chains. In addition, the savings can be enhanced from prescription drug coupons, which will also allow the shopper to save even more money.

There are also other online pharmacies out there that sell low cost generic medications. However always be cautious in using these. Do research, ensure they are regulated, that they have been in operation for an extended period, and that there are not complaints from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). In general, online discount pharmacies can be used to buy inexpensive generic drugs, but there may generally be slightly higher risk in them. Find a listing of websites that help with prescription drug buying.

Chain stores (including Wal-Mart and Kroger among others) and pharmacies (including Rite-Aid and Walgreens) administer prescription drug saving plans on generic medications. They may offer one medication or 30, 60, or 90 day supplies. Most of the generic medication plans at retailers are free, but some have a minimal enrollment fee. Learn more on generic drug savings from chain stores.

Another tip is to get a longer supply of generic medications. There may be a bigger discount/lower price given on a 3-month supply (or 90 day) vs. a one-month supply. Now those savings will not strictly be for generic medications, but rather any type of prescription drug will tend to be cheaper when a larger supply is bought.


By Jon McNamara

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