One of my current seminar participants happens to be an M.D. After someone asked how to pay less for ADHD medications that are currently costing her north of $300 a month, this doctor sent me six excellent suggestions for keeping the cost of medications down. Because he’s the doctor in the house, I’ve reprinted what he wrote verbatim. Thanks, doc!
TIP 1: www.goodrx.com Excellent for finding the best cash-pay prices in your area.
TIP 2: Various manufacturer co-pay discount coupons. One example can be found on www.vyvanse.com. ($60 per month discount). You usually must have commercial insurance for these to work.
TIP 3: https://www.goodrx.com/central-nervous-system-stimulants also provides a good summary of medications, recent prices, and links to the manufacturers’ discount programs.
TIP 4: Ask your doctor to prescribe the short-acting generic version of your favorite medication. This is usually 1/3 to 1/4 the price, but it’s less convenient and may lead to more ups and downs throughout the day. For many people, including myself, is preferable to pay more for the longer-acting pills.
TIP 5: Review your insurance company’s annual medication formulary. Ours, for example, would require a Google search for something like “Providence of Oregon formulary 2017 pdf.” Choose the most relevant document for your specific health plan and search the list for the lowest tier or generic (i.e. cheapest) options. We found two files and it was difficult to determine which was most applicable for our insurance plan.
Reviewing both of these formularies, it was clear that Providence Health Plan preferred generic Adderall, generic dexadrine, and generic Ritalin. My co-pay was either $50 a month for a 30-day supply or $100 for a 90-day supply. We found Walgreens to be the only local pharmacy that would accept a 90-day supply. (It is possible that our insurance company’s preferred mail-order pharmacy could have been cheaper).
TIP 6: If 90-day supplies are cheaper under your plan, you may ask your doctor for 90. You may, however, have a hard time convincing your doctor that this is legal. Usually, one may only receive 30 days of a Schedule II controlled substance at a time, without a refill. Apparently mail-order pharmacies, and local pharmacies which have out-of-state mail-order branches, have found the legal loophole to prescribe 90 days on a single script. I would suggest calling your insurance company’s preferred mail order pharmacy to confirm that they will accept a prescription for 90 days of your ADHD medication. If they say yes, tell your doctor and ask him or her to try sending the script (either electronically or hard copy via mail) and see if everything works out. Doctors may end up being excited that they don’t have to go through the laborious process of post-dating three separate 30-day prescriptions.
TIP 7: Change insurance companies. This might seem extreme, but there can be drastic differences in total out-of-pocket costs if a slightly more expensive insurance plan pays for all of your ADD medications. If eligible, go to https://www.healthcare.gov/see-plans/#/search and enter your medication to search for plans that cover your pills. Be sure to enter your doctor’s info to ensure they take the new insurance plan. Open enrollment starts Nov. 1st.
And another...TIP 8: This one comes from a different class participant - sometimes there are groupon coupons for medications. This person just found a Groupon that was Vyvanse for $30 a month for a year.