Top 5 ways to save on prescription drugs

Posted at 4:50 PM, Feb 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-05 08:34:54-05

Chances are you’re paying too much for prescription drug costs.

A recent study showed Americans spent 10% more on prescription drug costs in 2015 compared to 2014.

The rising cost of prescription drugs has been at the forefront of everyday conversation in local pharmacies and even the presidential campaign trail:

There are easy steps you can take to trim the cost.

"No matter if you're bogged down with 10-15 pills a day or if you're only on one medication a day, there's always savings available," said Dr. Dawn Rantinella.

Dr. Rantinella, of Center City Pharmacy in West Palm Beach, helped us pinpoint 5 ways.

1. Apps

One app that had a huge surge in downloads last year was Teledoc. Save money by skipping the drive to the doctor for common sicknesses. Talk to a consultant for $15 and if necessary they'll prescribe you limited things like antibiotics and antihistamines. You can pick up the medicine at a pharmacy of your choice.

2. Free drug savings cards and coupon websites

There's a card called the Florida RX card that you get just for being a Florida resident. Use it to save at big chains from Walgreens, to CVS to Rite Aid.

Dr. Rantinella said, "I see it underused. I believe when people go in and they see a price they think that price is set in stone and they don't understand that price is negotiable."

Counties also chip in, like St. Lucie County which partners with Coast 2 Coast prescription cards. is another source of savings.

3.  Warehouse club stores and independent pharmacies

Costco posts its drug prices online, something many pharmacies don't do. There is no Costco membership needed for pharmacy access.

Dr. Rantinella says there's a little more wiggle room for savings at independent pharmacies. “We, in turn, are a small company so we don't have to be locked into a certain price," said Dr. Rantinella.

4. Pill splitting

Take a higher-strength pill and by splitting it in two - you get two doses for the price of one.

However, be careful and ask your pharmacists which drugs are best for this. Dr. Rantinella says don’t split pills with "E-R"on them, because they have a coating for extended release.

5. Not using insurance for prescriptions.

Ask your pharmacist and you may see a drastic difference. 

"They'll be able to tell you what the actual cost of the medication will be without insurance and sometimes that's less than your co-pay," said Dr. Rantinella. He says this is especially seen in newer drugs.