Senior Resources » 6 Thrifty Tips for Seniors to Save Money on OTC & Prescription Medication

6 Thrifty Tips for Seniors to Save Money on OTC & Prescription Medication

8 Thrifty Tips for Seniors to Save Money on OTC & Prescription Medication

Taking care of your health should never break the bank. Unfortunately, for many seniors and retirees, it does; especially when it comes to affording prescriptions or other medication. In fact, last year, it was reported that 1 in 5 older adults skipped or delayed medications because of costs.


Although the controversial Inflation Reduction Act promises to loosen the grip on thousands of seniors’ wallets, most of the really big changes to Medicare Part D (the part that covers prescriptions) aren’t coming until 2025 and 2026. That doesn’t do much to help anyone struggling today, does it?

The somewhat good news is that there are still plenty of thrifty tips and tricks to help you save money on both over-the-counter and prescription medications. Here’s how!


1. Ask for Generic Prescriptions and OTC Drugs

medication in a shopping cart next to cash on a table

When it comes to prescription medications, generic options can be a wallet-friendly alternative to brand-name drugs. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if there are generic equivalents available for your prescribed medications. Generic medications contain the same active ingredients and are approved by regulatory authorities, making them equally safe and effective but often at a lower cost.

2. Compare!

money bags

Many people make the mistake of assuming that all pharmacies charge the same prices, but this is far from true. Be sure to do your research and compare prices before you choose where to fill your prescriptions. The cost of generic prescription drugs can vary from one pharmacy to another for lots of reasons. Pharmacies are a business too, and as such, they have overhead costs such as rent, staffing, and utilities. Another reason prices vary is that many big chains have different deals with suppliers.

3. Sign Up for Loyalty or Rewards Programs

woman on phone

Take advantage of your pharmacy or local convenient store’s loyalty programs! Like any other store these days, your pharmacy of choice probably has an app that you can download, collect points with, and receive additional discounts from.

4. Buy in Bulk

grocery shopping senior woman

If you regularly take a medication, it may be more cost-effective to buy it in bulk. Most retailers offer discounts for buying medications in larger quantities. And, don’t worry, we’re not suggesting you buy a 5-year supply of Tylenol. We simply mean that if you’re torn between the 90-count and 150-count bottles, it’s almost always more economical to buy the bigger size, where the price per unit usually works out to be less.


5. Try a Prescription Discount Card


Discount cards can be a valuable tool for saving money. These cards provide discounts on both generic and brand-name drugs. They are typically free to obtain and can be used at participating pharmacies. Ask your pharmacist about any available discount cards or research reputable options online. Here are a few popular discount cards to look at:

6. Consider Mail-Order Pharmacy Services

Medication sorting

Mail-order pharmacies can offer substantial savings, particularly for medications you take on a long-term basis. These services often provide discounts for purchasing medications in larger quantities, reducing both costs and the hassle of frequent trips to the pharmacy. Make sure to choose a reputable mail-order pharmacy that adheres to safety standards. Here are a few to check out:

Read Next: How Seniors Can Save Money on Prescription Eyeglasses

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Originally published June 05, 2023

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