PharmacyChecker experts answer consumer questions related to affording lower-cost, prescription medications.
We help people afford the medication they need by verifying online pharmacies and comparing their prices. Drug prices are out of control. Americans face the highest medication prices in the world. That's why millions of Americans choose to buy medication from other countries.
Our Panel of Experts
Tod Cooperman, MD
Chief Executive Officer and Founder
Dr. Tod Cooperman is a noted researcher, writer, and speaker on consumer healthcare issues.
Gabriel Levitt, MA
President and Co-Founder
Mr. Levitt oversees all business operations, development and research. He is a public advocate for prescription drug affordability.
Shivam Patel, PharmD, BSPS, RPh
Director of Pharmacy Verification and Information
Dr. Patel provides expert knowledge regarding safe pharmacy practice, quality assurance, drug safety, and patient access to affordable medication.
The information provided on Ask PharmacyChecker is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, nor is it an endorsement of any product or service.
If you are considering purchasing medication from outside the U.S., be aware that, in most circumstances, it is technically not legal for individuals to import prescription drugs; however, U.S. government officials have stated that individuals who order non-controlled prescription drugs from Canada or other foreign sources (up to a three-month supply) for their own use are not being pursued or prosecuted.
Can I send my prescriptions to several different pharmacies?
Shopping around and even using several pharmacies to maximize savings can provide financial relief, but there are safety concerns to be aware of!
Taking multiple medications raises more safety concerns, such as dangerous drug interactions and harmful side effects. It is important to have a pharmacist monitor these combinations. A pharmacist is a trained drug expert who evaluates not only each individual prescription but, perhaps more importantly, your full medication list to determine how all the medications you are taking interact with each other.
It is best to develop a relationship with your local pharmacist—an easily accessible member of the healthcare team—who can play a key role in medication oversight and compliance. If possible, it's wise to limit the number of pharmacies you use; however, if you use multiple pharmacies, it is important to decrease the concern for drug safety by making sure your pharmacist has a full record of all medications you are taking—including mail-order prescriptions, medications filled at other local pharmacies, over-the-counter medications and supplements.
So, keep a current list of all your medications—including all vitamins, over-the-counter medicines, herbal remedies and prescription drugs. Make sure to update the list frequently and to share this list with your pharmacist(s) and your other healthcare providers.
Keeping this in mind, there are a few different options for finding potential savings on prescription drugs. Read on for details.
The Generic Option
Many prescription medications are available as generic versions, which offer substantial savings. In fact, according to the 9th annual Generic Drug Access and Savings in the U.S. Report, generics have saved the U.S. health care system $1.67 trillion in the last decade, generating $253 billion in savings in 2016 alone. Click here to learn more. To find out if the prescription medication you are taking is available in a generic version, just ask your doctor or pharmacist.
If the medication you were prescribed is not yet available as a generic, you may still have options to maximize savings!
Drug Discount Coupons
Online coupons and discount cards can offer savings on prescription medications. PharmacyChecker.com offers price search options for securing discount coupons on brand-name and generic medications at local pharmacies in the U.S.
To search for prices at pharmacies in your local area using www.pharmacychecker.com, simply enter the drug name in the "Compare Drug Prices" box, follow the prompts, then scroll to the bottom of the page and click on "Search U.S. Local Pharmacy Pricing," and enter your ZIP Code. If discount prices are available through pharmacies in your local area, you can select the pharmacy, print the discount card and bring it to your local pharmacy with your prescription.
Patient Assistance Programs
Another option for savings may be through programs offered by pharmaceutical companies. PharmacyChecker.com provides information on patient assistance programs offered through various pharmaceutical companies. You can use our website to read about patient assistance programs, check to see if one is offered for your medication and determine if you are eligible. Click here to learn more.
Options at Pharmacies Outside the U.S.
Finally, the least expensive option—especially when no generic alternative exists in the U.S.—is to consider purchasing the prescription medicine from a licensed pharmacy in a country where drug prices are much lower than in the U.S. You can do this through online international pharmacies, but it's advisable to use one which has its credentials verified and monitored by an independent third-party, such as PharmacyChecker.com. We also post drug price comparisons from these pharmacies for your convenience.
You can use PharmacyChecker.com to view verified, international online pharmacies and compare prices. Just enter the name of your prescribed medication in the "Compare Drug Prices" box, click on the search icon, and then follow the prompts to a list of pharmacies that offer the medication. When prompted, you may check if a brand or generic version has the best price.
If you choose to order your prescription medications online, we strongly recommend that you avoid online pharmacies that are not verified or continually monitored by a certification group like PharmacyChecker.com.
To learn more about the important role credentialing plays in validating online pharmacy practices, click here.Updated November 26, 2019