A prescription discount card goes by many names. Prescription card. Rx Coupon. Cash Card. Pharmacy Savings Card and so on. This FAQ will use all these words below to help you become acquainted with the terms, but just keep in mind that they have the same meaning. These cards have a primary goal of helping you save money on prescription drug costs at your local pharmacy.Top
A drug coupon, like those found on the Prescription.Cards website, pre-negotiates discounts with pharmacies. Then, when you show your card (either printed, on your phone or tablet) at the pharmacy counter, the staff will enter in the numbers on the card into their system. That information compares that pharmacy location’s price with that of our pre-negotiated drug prices. Our card will be cheaper than the drug store’s pricing about 89% of the time. For the remaining 11% of the time it does not you will pay the lower pricing provided by that pharmacy using our system’s logic so that you always pay the lowest price.Top
You can use our pharmacy discount card for any FDA-approved drug, currently that is over 60,000 medications.Top
Cash discount cards may be used when insurance is not available for your prescription drug. That means that either you do not have insurance at all, your insurance does not include a prescription drug benefit or your insurance’s formulary does not cover your drug.Top
Many insurance companies will exclude some drugs at all on any level of their formulary. It is called “formulary exclusions” or a “non-formulary list”. If your drug is excluded in some way from your insurance formulary list then you are forced to pay cash for it at the drug store counter. Once you are a “cash paying” customer you are free to use our prescription discount card for your drug.
Insiders tip: Cash paying customers are where the term “cash card” comes from. This is the term most often used by pharmacists rather than prescription discount card or Rx Coupon.
The same holds true for Medicare customers who often see drugs left off formularies. Even if you are on “Medicare Part D” you can use this Rx coupon card. The key is you cannot use it AND use any kind of insurance on the same drug; it is one or the other.Top
Wow… if got a penny each time I got one of these questions since I started in this field in 2009! It is the bottom line after all, and one of the toughest questions to answer. Final pricing factors include the local pharmacy itself, the drug, if it is a brand or generic and, if generic, how long has it been a generic? Let’s discuss these briefly.
Your local pharmacy. Whether you shop at a chain store pharmacy, like CVS, Walgreen, Walmart or Publix Supermarkets, or if you shop at a local independent pharmacy, each of these locations has some degree of flexibility on their cash prices. So while we may publish a price we’ve seen at a CVS in Waco, TX, the same drug, dose and number of pills at a CVS in Tampa could, and most likely will be, totally different.
This gets even more complicated when you look at multiple neighborhood pharmacies on opposing corners at traffic light. This is because there is a lot of competition so prices could swing wildly. For example, we’ve seen prices for Phentermine 37.5mg tablets range up to 2-300% more just across the street!
The lesson here is that it is always most accurate to bring your prescription to a pharmacy and have them provide you a quote.
Brand vs. Generic? Across all cash cards you will always find that generic drugs, especially those that have been out for a while and have multiple manufacturers. Newly minted generic drugs almost always have only one generic manufacturer to start so prices, while lower than the brand drug, won’t be really low until multiple manufacturers come on board. The FDA manages that manufacturer number, in part.Top
It is our experience that cash-paying customers typically find the best deal using a prescription drug coupon or card at discount or local independent pharmacy rather than national chains. That’s a general rule of thumb but certainly not a hard and fast rule since we’ve seen many times where CVS or Walgreens are lower than the local supermarket pharmacy or independent drug store. Still, if I was shopping for the best price, that’s where I’d start.
Insiders tip: If your doctor writes you a prescription for multiple refills and you don’t like the pricing you get after your first fill, ask the pharmacy to transfer the remaining refills on your prescription to another pharmacy the next month. You need not be stuck at that high-priced pharmacy for the remainder of your refills.Top
We may show you pricing in two ways: (a) the lowest pricing we’ve seen from any pharmacy or (b) the recent claims of any kind we’ve seen from a specific pharmacy. Both kinds of presented prices are based on actual uses of our card by people like you and are never estimates. Remember, the best way to find out what you will actually pay is to bring your script to your pharmacy of choice, show your card and your prescription and ask them what the bottom line cost will be using the coupon.You should walk away if you’re not happy with what you hear. Top
It’s not. Surprised to hear that? Many (I’d say ALL!) discount drug card services say their service is free but this is a stretch of the truth. Here’s the truth they are not telling you…
Each card will pre-negotiate a discount for all FDA-approved drugs, both brand and generic, with each pharmacy in the network. From that established base a dispense cost is added by the pharmacy and a fee is added for the pharmacy network and the service provider. Once you add all those together you get your final price to be paid, by you, at the pharmacy. “Free” would imply you don’t pay any service fees which isn’t true. Let take an example using fictitious numbers.
Let’s say a drug is price negotiated from $90 for 30 tablets down to $20 for cash card payers. This kind of discount is not unusual. The original $90 price is something called “Usual and Customary” and really is the very highest anyone would pay for that drug with absolutely no discount.
From there we add in the pharmacy’s fee, $4 to $9 is common so now we’re at $29 dollars for your 30-day supply.
From there a fee is added for the pharmacy network and the marketer of the card. Here is what separates one card providers from one another. Some will be very low, maybe $4-5 dollars and others will be very high, perhaps $20 or $30. That fee is then split between the pharmacy network, which is a third party that adjudicates, or processes, each claim, and the marketer. Let’s say in our example that’s $8. The final price that you’ll pay at the pharmacy is $37 ($20 + $9 + $8).
That is the truth behind how discount drug cards work regarding pricing matters. Since 2009, we have worked hard to be one of the lowest fee cards to you get the best possible price at the pharmacy.
Insiders tip: It is worth noting, however, that even with these fees it is highly likely that you will pay less for your drug as a cash payer with a discount card than you will if you did not use one.Top
Use it at any pharmacy in our network. Ours is one of the biggest pharmacy networks at over 65,000 retail pharmacies; about 9 in every 10 pharmacies accepts our card. To find one close to you click on the “pharmacy” tab above.Top
Bring it into your pharmacy with your prescription and provide it to the staff at the counter. They will enter the numbers on the card and from there you can ask what your discounted final price will be.Top
Your card is already activated and there is no registration required.Top
Insiders tip: Note that there is no personal information attached to this card so you can freely share it with family, friends and neighbors.Top
There are no limitations, like annual or lifetime caps, associated with this card.Top
Use with any prescription drug a provider (doctor, physician’s assistant, veterinarian, etc.) would write a script for and that is FDA-approved.Top
You will always pay the lowest price available for your transaction. How does that work? Your pharmacy will occasionally use our discount as the basis for a one-time price adjustment in your favor. Our discounts are aggressive but if the pharmacy is able to beat our price then you benefit by getting an even bigger discount from your pharmacy.Top