It seems aging and medications go hand-in-hand.  These days medications can be very costly.  Don’t be afraid to speak to your doctor, or to do some investigating on your own about ways in which to lower the cost of some of your pricier meds.

Many medications come in generic forms which are typically less expensive, on average, about 80 to 85 percent less than the brand names. The FDA requires generic drugs to have the same quality and performance as brand name drugs, but there may still be subtle differences that can affect your health so discuss them wth your doctor. Ask your doctor if there are less expensive brand name medications that can treat your condition just as well as your current medications.

Your physician might also be able to steer you in the direction of a medical assistance program that can help with drug costs.

Insurers can provide you with a copy of your drug plan or formulary that lists all of the drugs covered by them. Take the list of drugs to your physician and together you can discuss any medications that will be effective for you as well as pocket-friendly.

If you are intrigued by the thought of buying medications online, first do your homework!  Make sure a prescription is required by the site and that a pharmacist is available to answer any concerns about a medication. Purchase meds from licensed pharmacies that are located ONLY in the U.S. Do not provide credit card or personal info unless you are sure the site will protect your info.  BeSafeRx is a national campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of buying prescription medicines from phoney online pharmacies. This campaign also provides resources to help consumers.

Find out if your insurer will offer you a discount on medications if you switch to a mail-order delivery with them rather than filling at your local pharmacy.  You’ll save money on most drugs and get a 3-month supply to boot.

If you are paying high prescription medication costs, a different Medicare drug plan can lower those prices.  Use the Medicare Plan Finder to look at different plans or talk with a free expert counselor at your local State Health Insurance and Assistance Programs (SHIP) office.  Medicare beneficiaries can qualify for Extra Help with their Medicare prescription drug plan costs.  Extra Help is estimated to be worth about $4,000 per year. To qualify for Extra Help, a person must be receiving Medicare, have limited resources and income, and reside in one of the 50 States or the District of Columbia.

If you’re a veteran, The Department of Veterans Affairs can help with prescription costs as well.

State Pharmaceutical Assistance Program (SPAP) provides information about any available state-funded assistance programs for prescription drug costs.

Partnership for Prescription Assistance helps connect underinsured people with patient assistance programs for which they may be eligible.

Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs (PAP) provides information about pharmaceutical companies that offer assistance programs for the drugs they manufacture.

Many organizations like AAA and AARP have exclusive prescription discount programs. They can get you a break at the pharmacy of up to 80 percent, in some cases.

Coupons offer big breaks on many drugs.  Your doctor might have a stash of coupons for a drug he prescribed for you, just ask for a few.  If not, look for prescription drug coupons online. GoodRx collects prices and discounts from over 60,000 U.S.pharmacies with savings of up to 80 percent. You can print out coupons or send them to your email, or cell as a text message.