Paid Memberships * Free Discount Cards * Free Coupons including GoodRx * Manufacturer Discounts/Coupons * Online/Mail-Order Pharmacies * Crossing Country Borders * Compounding Pharmacies * Insurance Reimbursement
If you live in the United States and you receive a prescription for a medication that is also used in humans you can usually get discounts.
Paid Memberships in Pharmacy Savings Clubs
Individual pharmacies and pharmacy chains often offer paid membership programs which allow you to save money on all your prescriptions. Look for a program that includes pets and has a low yearly membership rate for the entire family. I use the Walgreens Prescription Savings Club but be sure to check the pharmacies in your area to see what the best deal is for you.
Free Online Discount Cards
There are dozens, if not hundreds of free coupons and discounts available online. The trick is finding the one that works best for the medication you’re trying to purchase.
Because there are so many options it’s not really practical to list them all here, but try doing an internet search for prescription discount <name of the medication> and see what comes up.
Collect as many discount cards as you can and don’t be shy about having your pharmacist try every single one of them to find which one gives you the best deal (but don’t ask them to do this at a time when the pharmacy is very busy or they will not be happy with you).
Free Online Coupons
Aside from discount cards there are also free online coupons you can try. In the digital age there’s very little distinction between a discount card and a coupon, but you will often get slightly different online search results if you check for “coupon” instead of “card”
Some coupons that work particularly well at Walgreens Pharmacies, and may work well at other pharmacies are:
PLAN ID: PSCRP
ID: (YOUR 10 DIGIT PHONE NUMBER)**
PLAN ID: FMLWZ
PERSON CODE: 01
PLAN ID: GTWYPCRX
PERSON CODE: 01
The most popular or well-known online coupons are from GoodRx.
Go to the GoodRx website and enter the prescription name in the search box. You can use the brand name or the generic name.
Check the medication and the Prescription Settings are correct
Edit the Prescription Settings as needed
Find your best price
There are two different options you’re likely to see, a “with membership” option and a “free discount” option.
The “with membership” option refers to paid membership in the GoodRx savings program, and the “free discount” is available to everyone.
Be sure to click the Learn More button on the “with membership” options, because they also have a “free discount” price hidden inside.
A closer look at the “with membership” option
Pro Tip: If your prescription comes with refills the pharmacy will keep your discount price on file. But, if you find a cheaper price later, be sure to use your new discount the next time you pick up a refill.
Be sure to read the GoodRx information carefully. Some medications specifically exclude pets from receiving the discount. This is because the manufacturer does not allow discounts on certain medications when given to animals. Lantus insulin, commonly prescribed for diabetic cats, is one such medication.
When you search for Lantus insulin you’ll notice a “Restrictions apply” note underneath the discount box.
When you click the Get Free Discount button you’ll be shown a screen that lists the specific restrictions. As you can see, pets are not included in this discount offer.
Manufacturer Coupons and Programs
Drug manufacturers often have their own coupons and savings programs. Be sure to check if the manufacturer offers direct deals through their website. Sometimes these coupons and programs specifically exclude pets, so be sure to read the rules before attempting to use them. You can actually get in quite a lot of trouble if you try to lie and use these programs for a pet if pets are excluded.
Online or Mail-Order Pharmacies
Sometimes online or mail-order pharmacies have prices that beat local pharmacies. There are a lot of options for online pharmacies that offer human medications. The best way to find what you’re looking for is to search for something like mail order <medication name> and see what comes up.
Be sure to verify that this is an accredited/properly licensed pharmacy before placing your order. This information should be featured prominently on their website.
One such pharmacy that I’ve recently found is Honeybee Health. Their medication list doesn’t have everything you might need, but there are some really good deals available.
Crossing Country Borders
If you’re lucky enough to live close to the border with either Canada or Mexico you may be able to save a lot of money by crossing the border to fill your prescriptions – or by having a friend who regularly crosses the border pick them up.
In some cases a compounding pharmacy may be able to save you money on the medication AND make the medication into kitty-friendly doses. Compounding pharmacies all have their own prices, so be sure to check with each compounding pharmacy in your area, and online, and get all prices first.
A savings example from my life:
I had Cat on Chlorambucil for small cell lymphoma. Chlorambucil is available commercially in a 2 mg tablet.
|Company||Price per Pill|
$29.13 autoship discount
|California Pet Pharmacy||$38.99|
|Prescription Lab Compounding Pharmacy||$4.75*|
|BCP Veterinary Pharmacy||$4.37 **|
*The compounding pharmacy had to make the pills in 1.99 mg or 2.01 mg strengths to skirt the laws that prevent them from making a 2 mg strength since the 2 mg strength is commercially available.
**BCP ended up being cheaper per dose than any other option. They were able to make 2mg tuna flavored chews that Cow absolutely loved.
If you have pet insurance, be sure to submit your claims for the medications so that you also get any applicable reimbursement from your insurance policy.