- Health Care, Drugs & Insurance
10 Ways to Save Money on Lipitor without Insurance!
Attention: Beginning November 30, 2011 a generic Lipitor will be available. For information on the generic for Lipitor see my article: Generic for Lipitor.
What is Lipitor?
Lipitor (also known as Atorvastatin) belongs to a family of prescription medications which assist in lowering your blood cholesterol levels (we sometimes call them "statins"). It works by safely interfering with the natural process of cholesterol synthesis (production) within the cells of your liver. If you want to impress your friends, tell them your doctor has you on an "HMG-Co A reductase inhibitor". Give yourself a pat on the back if you can pronounce that. Anyway, reduction of elevated blood cholesterol is a very important factor in reducing your risk for heart disease, and heart disease is still the number 1 killer.
But Lipitor is expensive..and the generic has only just been approved...so it will be several weeks or months before it is available. Depending on your insurance plan (if any) you could be paying your highest copay level for this bad boy every month. And if you DON'T have insurance, you could be forking out over $100 smackers every time you visit the pharmacy. Ouch. But there are ways to save money on this product. The following 10 tips, if followed, should provide some relief.
For information on generic Lipitor: CLICK HERE
Lipitor Savings Tip #1: Ask For Samples
Ask you doctor or prescriber if they have any samples. Drug manufacturers often leave samples of their medication with physicians for them to give to their patients to "try". This allows patients to get a FREE supply to see if the medication works for them and to ensure it won't cause any unwanted side effects. However, often doctors have far more than they need. So ask! And if they don't have any, call back in a couple weeks and ask the nurse or receptionist if they happen to have received any. Also, if your husband or wife sees a different doctor, have them ask on your behalf. I can't hurt. These are 100% free! Even a couple weeks worth can save you a bundle on Lipitor!
Great Books, Great Deals!
Lipitor Savings Tip #2: Get a FREE 30 Day Trial!
Pfizer, the manufacturer of Lipitor, wants you to take their medication! In lieu of samples, you can log onto their website and sign up for a FREE 30 day trial! That's right! You simply have to fill out an online form, and answer the questions, and you will receive a card in the mail good for 30 days free! They also provide ongoing assistance through several programs mentioned in the link below.
Lipitor Savings Tip #3: Lipitor Copay Card
The makers of Lipitor also have a "copay card" which offers copay rebates when you purchase Lipitor through your insurance. Bring your card to the pharmacy when you fill or refill your prescription to get an instant discount on your copay!
Lipitor Savings Tip #4: Tablet Splitting
If you currently are taking Lipitor 10mg, 20mg, or 40mg, you can save money almost immediately by asking the doctor to write your prescription for a higher strength...and then split the tablet in half for your daily dose! The price for the higher strength tablet is just a little more than the lower strength...and you end up with TWICE the amount of medicine!!
Buy a pill splitter for accurate splitting. These can be purchased at any pharmacy for a few dollars.
However, if you have insurance, your copay may be the same whether the doctor writes for 40mg Lipitor once a day or 80mg Lipitor 1/2 tablet daily. So...I recommend asking the doctor to write for the HIGHER strength with the directions to read 1/2 to 1 tablet daily, depending on cholesteral results! This is legal, and you insurance will pay for a full 30 tablets...and you will split them and get 2 months of medication!!!
Lipitor Savings Tip #5: Shop the Pharmacies
Shop around. You may be surprised to discover that the price of Lipitor is not the same at every pharmacy. If you pay "out of pocket" (ie you do not have insurance) a few minutes on the phone could save you hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.
How do you do this? I think the easiest way is to just go to YELLOWPAGES.COM and type in "pharmacy" and your town. Then call 4-5 pharmacies and ask "Could I just get a cash price for Lipitor (tell them the strength and number of tablets for a month)?"
Lipitor Savings Tip #6: Consider a Drug Change
Okay, Lipitor is a good medication. It works, and has numerous studies that document its effectiveness and safety when used properly. However...it is not the only medication to reduce blood cholesterol. Several other drugs, also "statins", are available for much less money because they are available generically.
So, if you are finding the price tag for Lipitor just a bit too high, as your doctor if you could possibly switch to:
- Mevacor (lovastatin)
- Pravachol (pravastatin)
- or Zocor (simvastatin)
They all have generics and are significantly less expensive whether you pay "out of pocket" or by insurance. Some are even available for as little as $4.00 per month!! See my article on Generic Drug Programs for more info on that.
Lipitor Savings Tip #7: Look into Mail Order
Does your insurance company offer a "mail order" option? Not sure what that is? Call the "800" number on the back of you prescription insurance card and follow the prompts to speak to a representative. Ask them if you plan offers "mail order" and how much it would save you. Often you can get a 3 month supply for the cost of just 2 months at your retail pharmacy. You will have to obtain a prescription from your doctor for such a supply, and mail it to the address they give you. It is worth the effort! Give it a try.
If you don't have insurance, you can still check out an online mail-order pharmacy like www.drugstore.com. See if you could get your prescription less expensively from them. Call them at 1-800-378-4786 and get their price for Lipitor over the phone.
Lipitor Savings Tip #8: OTC Products
Okay, how high is cholesterol anyway? Does it need to come down just a little? There are a handful of Over The Counter (OTC) products and supplemnents that may help reduce your cholesterol without using prescription medication at all! Now...don't get too excited...as the results are not typically dramatic. But things like garlic, fish oil, and oat bran do have some positive effects. Maybe you won't need to start your Lipitor after all! Ask you doctor to let you try some of these approaches for a couple months, then have your cholesterol checked again.
Check out a list of natural supplements with some cholesterol reducing benefit on the Mayo Clinic Website!
Lipitor Savings Tip #9: Diet and Exercise
Okay, I'm putting this down near the end because no one wants to hear it! But diet and exercise can reduce blood cholesterol without the need for expensive prescription medication like Lipitor. Now, diet and exercise alone will not be enough for many people, since cholesterol production is highly genetic, but it may be enough to help you!
Read THIS ARTICLE put out by the American Council on Exercise about reducing cholesterol through exercise.
Lipitor Savings Tip #10: Apply for a Prescription Discount Card
If you have no other insurance, you could apply for a low-cost or no-cost prescription discount card. If you are a member of AAA you can get one for FREE with your membership. Just visit www.aaa.com.
Also, read my fuller article on How To Save Thousands On Prescription Drugs!