3 ways to get the right Rx at the best price
Prescription drugs help prevent, manage and cure medical conditions. Keeping them affordable is vital.
At BCBSND, we are committed to helping you access safe, effective and affordable prescription medications.
One way we do this is by setting out-of-pocket costs in a tiered system. For example, generic drugs, which fall in tier 1, cost far less than brand name drugs in tier 3.
To determine which drugs to include, we evaluate safety and effectiveness with a team of doctors, nurses and pharmacists. We also look at whether there are similarly effective drugs that cost less or are offered over the counter.
This system, called a drug tier, helps hold down health care costs and makes out-of-pocket expenses more predictable.
As you look at ways to manage your costs, here are three ways to get the right medicine at the best price.
1. Ask your doctor about generics.
Generic prescription medicines are just as effective. They contain the same active ingredient, strength and dosage as brand-name drugs. Plus, the cost averages 80 to 85 percent less, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
2. Order prescriptions by mail.
Retail pharmacy prices vary, sometimes costing far more than online options. When you factor in the convenience of online ordering, the savings add up. Find the best price available with BCBSND's mail order service.
3. Take your Rx as directed.
To maximize the health benefit and avoid adverse side effects, follow your doctor's medication plan. It keeps you safer and helps rein in costs. In fact, it could reduce more than one-third of medicine-related hospitalizations and save as much as $290 billion in avoidable costs each year.
This article is the second in a series on prescription drug prices. Read 4 reasons your drug prices are on the rise.