The cost of prescription drugs can be very high. Here are some ways you may be able to lower the cost of your prescription drugs.
State Pharmacy Programs: The State of Vermont offers two prescription assistance programs: one for uninsured Vermonters, the other for those enrolled in Medicare Part D who meet certain income requirements. Call Green Mountain Care at 1-800-250-8427 to learn more.
General Assistance: General Assistance (GA) is a program that helps low income people in emergency situations. If you need prescription drugs but cannot pay for them, you can go to your local Department for Children and Families (DCF) Economic Services Division (ESD) office and apply for GA. If you are found eligible for the program, they will pay for your drugs.
Free Samples: Let your doctor know that you are having trouble paying for your prescription drugs. Ask them if they have free samples of any of your drugs. Prescription drug companies often send free samples to doctors. Doctors are usually willing to give samples out if they have them.
Health Clinics: There are many health clinics in Vermont. Many of them will give clients who need it free or reduced-cost care, including prescription drugs. Call the Health Care Advocate HelpLine at 1-800-917-7787 if you need help finding your nearest Health Clinic.
Buying drugs from Canada: Prescription drugs often cost much less in Canada than they do in the United States. You can order drugs from Canada without having to go there.
- CanadaPharmacy.com: This Canadian online pharmacy sells prescription drugs to U.S. residents. Buying drugs through this website is usually cheaper than buying them in the United States. Call 1-800-891-0844 or visit the CanadaPharmacy website to find out more.
Drug Manufacturer Programs: Some prescription drug companies have programs to make their drugs available free or at lower costs to people who are uninsured and/or are within certain income limits. If you are eligible for one of these programs, you may be able to get free or lower-cost drugs.
To find out about drug manufacturer programs, call the manufacturer directly by looking up their name in a phone book or on the internet. The following are some drug manufacturer resources:
- Free Medicine Program: Free Medicine Program is a not-for-profit organization. It can help you find out if there are drug manufacturer programs to help you lower the cost of drugs you take. Call Free Medicine Program at 1-800-921-0072 or visit the Free Medicine Program website.
- Partnership for Prescription Assistance: Partnership for Prescription Assistance works like Free Medicine Program. It can help you find prescription drug patient assistance programs. Call Partnership for Prescription Assistance at 1-888-477-2669 or visit the Partnership for Prescription Assistance website.
- Pfizer: Pfizer is a prescription drug manufacturer that may have a program to help you get free or low-cost prescriptions. Call Pfizer at 1-866-706-2400 or visit the Pfizer website.
Mail Order Pharmacies: A good way to save money on prescription drugs that you know you will need for a long time is to buy a big supply from a mail order pharmacy. This is usually cheaper than buying a small supply from a local pharmacy.
Discounted & Generic Drugs: One easy way to lower how much you spend on prescription drugs is to ask the doctor if there is a “generic” form of the drug you take. Generic drugs are like “brand name” drugs, but can cost much less. Stores like Hannaford, Walmart, Shaw's, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Price Chopper and Costco are likely to carry generic drugs in their pharmacies.
- Rx Outreach: Rx Outreach sells some prescription drugs at a cost of $20 for a 180-day (6-month) supply. They charge the same price for any dose or strength of the same drug. Call 1-800-769-3880 or visit the Rx Outreach website to find out more about the program, to get an application, and to see a list of drugs and prices.
You have to fill out an Rx Outreach application. To qualify, your household income must be less than 300% of the federal poverty level (see chart below). If you are told you are eligible for the program, you can order medications with a valid prescription from your doctor. This program is run through Express Scripts, a mail order pharmacy. You will order and get your medications by mail.
- Green Mountain United Way Discount Prescription Drug Plan: If your medical insurance does not include prescription coverage or does not cover your prescription, you can save an average of 20% (brand names) to 40% (generics) off your prescription costs by using the Agelity Prescription Savings Card at participating pharmacies.
Visit the Green Mountain United Way website to download and print a card, to find out more, and to see a list of participating pharmacies. There is no sign-up process. There are no income limits or age restrictions. You can also contact Green Mountain United Way at 802-229-9532 or send an email to ask for a card and to find out more about the program.
- Price Chopper: The Price Chopper Pharmacy provides some free diabetes drugs and antibiotics (with a valid prescription). Visit the Price Chopper website for information about free diabetes drugs or free antibiotics. You can also call your local Price Chopper Pharmacy to find out more. Find the number for your local Price Chopper online, in your phone book, or by calling 1-800-666-7667 Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
- Costco: Check with Costco to see if your prescription is available through their store at a cheaper price. You do not have to be a member to get a prescription filled at Costco. Call 1-800-607-6861 or visit the Costco website.
- Online Coupons: Search online for coupons or other deals for your prescription drugs.
For more ways to get help paying for prescription drugs, visit our Prescription Drug Assistance page.