You shouldn't have to empty your savings account to keep yourself well. Here are the 5 ways to refill prescriptions cheaper.

If you feel like your prescription medications are too expensive, you're not alone. One study shows that 24% of people with prescriptions find it difficult to pay for those drugs.

Drug prices continue to climb, making it even more difficult for people to afford necessary medications. In the first half of 2019, 3,400 drugs increased in price at an average increase of 10.5%.

How can you refill prescriptions without going into debt or sacrificing other bills? Small changes to where and how you get your medications can cut your costs significantly.

Test out these options for saving money on prescriptions.

1. Check Multiple Pharmacies
When your doctor asks about your preferred pharmacy, do you give the same answer every time without thinking about it? You might be surprised at pricing differences between pharmacies. Call different options in your area to compare pricing.

Some pharmacies may have special programs or cheaper prices for customers paying with cash instead of using insurance. Ask about those types of programs when you call. Give locally owned pharmacies a chance, as they're often competitive or cheaper than national chain pharmacies.

2. Refill Prescriptions for Longer
If you only get 30 days worth of medication at a time, bump it up to a 90-day supply if your doctor okays it. You'll generally pay less for a longer prescription. Plus, you'll have fewer trips to the pharmacy, which saves you on gas and prevents impulse buys while you're shopping.

3. Go Generic
Generic versions of prescription medications often cost 85% less than the original when multiple companies offer a generic version. The FDA requires generic manufacturers to use the same active ingredients at the same strength with an identical form and route of administration. You're essentially getting the same drug at a fraction of the cost.

If your doctor prescribes you a brand name drug, ask if there's a generic version available. If your medication has lots of generic manufacturers, you'll likely save more money. Your insurance company may offer a lower copay if you switch to the generic version.

4. Shop Online
Online pharmacies give you an alternative to local pharmacies. They can often offer lower prices because they have less overhead than a brick-and-mortar pharmacy. Your health insurance company may partner with a mail-order pharmacy with a lower co-pay than buying your medication at a local pharmacy.  

You don't have to stick to online pharmacies in your own country. Canadian pharmacies offer online options that accept your U.S. prescriptions. Compare the prices to see if they're cheaper than American options.

5. Look for Deals and Special Programs
If you take a brand name prescription drug, check with the manufacturer for deals. Many offer coupons to help offset the higher costs.
Prescription assistance programs are an option for low-income consumers or those who are underinsured or uninsured. Many manufacturers offer programs directly to customers who use their medications. You may find local programs that provide assistance for people without adequate insurance coverage. 

Save Money on Prescriptions
You don't have to spend a fortune to refill prescriptions if you do your research. Checking out different options helps you find the cheapest price so you don't have to sacrifice your health for your budget. Keep reading our health and fitness articles to find more ways to keep yourself well.