Coupons Aren't Just for Groceries!
With a family of 5 with allergies and asthma, we spend a lot of time and money at the pharmacy.
And like any other family, we are on a budget. So, monthly refills at the pharmacy can really add up.
I went to pick up my daily controller inhaler, and the co-pay was $75. I was puzzled, because I usually pay $25 each month with a coupon. Then I realized it was January, so the coupon I was using must have expired. And you thought coupons were just for groceries?!
My pharmacy usually finds coupons for me and applies them to my prescription, but their computer system was acting up. The pharmacy tech asked if I still wanted to get the inhaler? I told her no, I will look online and try to find a coupon. She said she would do the same thing to save $50!
So, how do you find coupons? For me, it\'s pretty simple. I just do an internet search of the name of my inhaler and then the word "coupon". It usually takes me to the manufacturer\'s website.
It\'s important to know the name of your inhaler. Many families I work with will tell me they don\'t know the name of it, but it\'s orange (or blue or red, etc.) Look at the canister and it will have the name of your particular inhaler. If you don\'t have your inhaler with you, you can look at Allergy & Asthma Network\'s Respiratory Treatment poster. I love this poster and carry small copies in my briefcase as well as a copy on my phone. It really helps people to be able to see the photo of their inhaler and the name.
Once you get to the manufacturer\'s website, they will usually have you fill out a few questions and then will produce a code. You can save the code on your phone, or print out a copy if you are on a computer. Then take it to your pharmacy. It only took me a few minutes and instead of paying $75 for my inhaler, I paid $15. Not bad!
Comparing prices at pharmacies
There is also a website that you can use that will tell you the price of the medication at all of the pharmacies closest to you. I just looked up my daily, controller inhaler. My search listed 10 pharmacies closest to me, and the price ranges from $316 - $329 for one inhaler. A little savings can really add up with our family like ours. And for those of you with a high deductible who have to pay the cash price for your inhaler, it can help to compare prices on that website.
Free/low-cost/sliding scale clinics
Another option is to look for free/low-cost/sliding scale clinics near you. Most are based on income and have a sliding scale fee. So, you pay according to your wages. Many of these clinics also have pharmacies inside the clinic, which can save time and money.
Okay, not the kind of samples you get from the grocery store or warehouse store. These are drug samples from the drug companies. Sometimes, people will want to try a medication for a week or two and see if it works for them. If they like it, they can get the full prescription. So your doctor may be able to give you a sample inhaler (they usually only have 20 or so doses instead of 200.) But, it can help until payday.
So, hopefully, these ideas help if you are on a budget.
Are there any other ideas people have found that are helpful for saving money on inhalers?
Do you get muscle cramps caused by your asthma medicine?