The rising cost of healthcare is an ongoing concern in the United States, and patients are now finding ways to manage the costs of their care. Prescription discount websites like USARx are just one of the new tools consumers have to help them understand and compare the prices of their medications and find the pharmacy in their area that offers the drug they need at the lowest price. 

While it can be frustrating, there are more resources available than ever to help patients who are looking for assistance with or relief from the perpetually increasing costs of prescription drugs. If you or someone you know needs regular prescriptions filled, read on to learn more about how to find the best deals on your medications.

How are drug prices set?

Most Americans don't know much about how the prices of their prescriptions are set, or who is responsible for setting them. First, you need to understand what a PBM is. A PBM is a pharmacy benefit manager. PBMs arrange deals with pharmacies to negotiate a discount off the retail price of a drug for customers. PBMs set everything from what drugs your insurance covers to what cost you'll have to pay for them. Coupons and discounts for those without insurance are also often negotiated by these benefit managers.

What the retail price for a drug is depends on many different factors, but the biggest difference is whether or not the drug is a brand name or a generic. Brand name drugs are pricey for pharmacies to acquire, and most of the purchase price goes to the manufacturer, with a small mark-up going to the pharmacy itself. Due to the number of manufacturers that can compete on price, the costs for generic drugs are lower and fluctuate much more often. How much lower often depends on where you shop. Discount providers like USARx and other discount card programs give you, as a cardholder, access to exclusive reduced pricing on a variety of medications too. Given all these different factors, you can see how two different patients can end up being given a wildly different purchase price for the same prescription drugs.

What are the best ways to save money on medication?

There are more ways than ever for you, as a patient, to manage the price of your care, and it's essential that you put in the effort if you want to keep the cost of your prescription drugs down. Start by making sure the pharmacy you shop at is the one that offers the lowest purchase price for your medications in your area. If you have insurance, check with your insurance company to make sure that a medication you've been prescribed is covered. If it isn't, talk to your doctor about whether or not a generic is available or if there is a manufacturer's coupon you might qualify for. Many pharmacies also have loyalty programs that offer discounts if you're a cardholder. These programs are often worth the effort to fill out the paperwork, especially if you frequent a particular location regularly.

Even if you have insurance, the purchase price provided by your insurance company may not be the best deal on a particular medication. The price offered to you is determined by a lot of factors, from whether your insurance covers the drug to what deal that specific pharmacy has negotiated with regard to pricing. Another great option for patients is using the discounts provided by websites like USA Rx. Discount websites like USARx act like a streaming service for medication discounts, allowing you to find the medication you're looking for and to use a discount for it at your own convenience.

While the cost of prescriptions in the United States can be high, that doesn't mean there aren't resources available if you need assistance. For anyone looking to lower the cost of their prescriptions, discount providers like USA Rx are stepping in to fill a clear need. If you find yourself faced with drug prices you can't afford, or you think you may be paying more than you need to for your medications, take the time to look for available discounts and check the prices at other pharmacies in your area. You might be surprised at how much money you can save next time you need to fill a prescription.