II. Types

  1. Discount Cards (e.g. Blink, GoodRx, WellRx, Amazon Prime)
    1. Initial purchase of discount card offers discounts on select medications
    2. Benefit to an individual varies based on which medications are discounted
    3. Discount card programs may sell user information to third parties
    4. Discounts often may not be combined with insurance
    5. Consider in-store discount programs for specific pharmacies
  2. Drug Coupons
    1. Only temporary discounts for expensive medications
      1. Once the coupon is used, the drug price returns to its high original cost
    2. Generic Drug alternatives typically offer similar efficacy at a consistently lower cost
    3. Government funded programs (e.g. Medicare) do not allow Drug Coupons
    4. Consider coupons for short-term medications (e.g. DOACS in short term DVT Prophylaxis)
  3. Assistance Programs
    1. Significantly discounted or free medications from manufacturers or states
    2. Requires medical provider and financial statements
    3. Prepare to complete considerable paperwork at least annually
    4. Consider for very high cost medications (e.g. Hepatitis C Antiviral Regimen, Biological Agent)
    5. May encourage use of expensive medications, at increased cost to government programs
      1. Howard (2014) N Engl J Med 371:97-99 [PubMed]

III. Resources: Assistance Programs

IV. Resources: Low cost medication lists

V. References

  1. (2015) Presc Lett 22(6): 35
  2. (2021) Presc Lett 28(10): 57-8

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