HOUSTON — The costs of prescription drugs can place a huge burden on a family, but there are ways to tap into better prices if you know where to look.
Dr. John Gilmore is a family doctor in Houston who took his expertise to the internet and started a YouTube channel several years ago.
“I learned that there were medical videos on YouTube, and I thought, wow, this is a great way to reach people," he said.
Today, he has 500,000 subscribers who follow Gilmore to watch him pop cysts, diagnoses rashes and discuss a host of other medical topics, including how to save money on prescription medications. He offers the following tips:
1. Call around to different pharmacies and ask what the cash price of the generic medication is.Cash price is the cost without insurance.
2. Don’t assume insurance is the way to go.
“If it’s a generic product, often times, and this is sad but true, the co-pay and the price that they are going to pay for that medication with their insurance is more expensive than the simple cash price,” Gilmore said.
3: Use a price comparison tool online like Good RX.com or Retailmenot.com.
“It will tell you who has the best price in the area and often will have a coupon that you can print right out," he said.
Gilmore demonstrated how it works by putting the name of a generic medication and a zip code in the search bar of GoodRx.com. It then provided a list of pharmacies and the price they offer. The prices ranged from $35 to $29, however, an online coupon offer brought the price down to $19.
Gilmore adds that doctors' offices, pharmacies and drug manufacturers might also offer coupons.
4. Ask your doctor for free medication.
“If you need something to get you through that co-pay time or the beginning of the year time where it’s a little bit more difficult, ask for samples. You’d be surprised what we can do," he said.