10 Safe Ways to Save Money on Your COPD Prescriptions

Comparison shopping or using generic meds can slash expenses

Learning how to save money on prescription drugs for COPD can help reduce the financial burden associated with treatment. The cost of medications alone for a chronic illness may be enough to send you to the poorhouse. Avoid that fate and have a few bucks extra to boot with this list of 10 easy ways to cut costs on your prescription medications.

Choose Generic Drugs

Pills on top of prescription note
Sean Locke/Stocksy United

Choosing the generic version of a drug is a safe, cost-effective way to save on prescription medications. In fact, data from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) indicates that generic drugs cost less than a third of the price of name-brand drugs.

People often associate low cost with low quality, however, and generic drugs sometimes fall under public scrutiny. It is important to remember that generic drug companies must comply with the same FDA standards as those who produce name-brand medications, so public confidence can be assured.

For information about consumer education related to generic drugs visit:

Information About Generic Drugs from the FDA

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Obtain a Discount Prescription Card

A discount prescription card can save you money on both name-brand and generic medications, sometimes as much as 80 percent. Many large, well-known companies honor discount cards, including Walmart, Rite Aid, CVS and Walgreens. Some cards are free; others require a nominal fee. You will have to research to find out which discount card works best for you. Some drug stores offer discount cards to income eligible individuals.

For more information about discount prescription cards, consult Discount Prescription Drug Cards. Also, visit these sites that offer discount drug cards:

Your RX Card 

RX Drug Card

Free Drug Card US (a nationwide Prescription Assistance Program sponsored by a nonprofit organization to help all Americans lower their prescription drug costs).

Do Some Comparison Shopping

If you were buying a car, would you go to the first car lot you saw to make your purchase? No, you would probably do some comparison shopping to get the best deal. The same goes with your medications. Because not all pharmacies are created equally, costs of prescription drugs will vary. Don't want to waste time and gas driving all over town to find the best deal? Try comparison shopping online or by telephone. Once you land the best price, then make your trip.

Ask Your Doctor for Free Samples

Some time ago, my doctor prescribed a medication that was non-formulary, meaning my insurance would not cover it. When I called the pharmacy to learn the price, I found that it was $165 for a 30-day supply. After recovering from the shock, I called my doctor who was more than happy to provide a 30-day supply to me, free of charge. Remember, drug companies want your doctor's business, so it is fairly common for your doctor to be inundated with free samples, especially of the newer medications. In any event, it never hurts to ask and your doctor will probably be more than willing to help.

Use Over-the-Counter Alternatives When Possible

As times change, the list of over-the-counter (OTC) medications expands. Buying OTC not only saves you money, but time as well.

If given a choice, always pick the no-name, store brand medication over the brand name. For example, a small bottle of Extra Strength Excedrin, a combination of acetaminophen, aspirin and caffeine, is available for about $8.99. If you were to check the ingredients of the no-name, store brand, you would find that they are exactly the same as the Excedrin, for about half the cost.

Talk With Your Doctor About Cheaper Alternatives

If there is not an option to purchase a generic version of your medication, ask your doctor to prescribe a cheaper alternative. If it is safe and appropriate, your doctor should not object to the switch.

Shop Online from Reliable Sources

Popular stores like Walmart, Walgreens and Target many times offer discounts to those who choose to purchase their medications online.

For example, Walmart has a prescription drug program that offers a 30-day supply of hundreds of prescription medications and more than 1,000 OTC medications, starting at $4. To save money on shipping, you can pick your prescription up right from the store.

Use Patient Assistance Programs

Patient assistance programs are run by pharmaceutical companies to provide free medications to people who cannot afford them.

Read more about patient assistance programs from the FDA:

FDA and Patient Assistance Programs

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Communicate With Your Doctor

If you are having trouble paying for your medications, tell your doctor. Remaining silent and not following the prescribed treatment plan due to lack of funds could be a recipe for disaster. Your doctor may be able to provide you with additional resources to help you afford your medications, so keeping an open line of communication is essential.

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Get Help from the Government

If you are having trouble paying for your medications, you may qualify for federal or state assistance programs, such as Medicare Part D or Medicaid. 


U.S. Food and Drug Administration. "Saving Money on Prescription Drugs."

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