52 Money Save Ways: Week 25: Buy Generic Medication

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52 Money Save Ways: Week 25: Buy Generic Medication

I hope you are having a good summer so far! We are into week 25 of our Money Save Ways tips and the 52 week money challenge. How are you doing at this point? If you are following along, you should deposit $25 into your money jar or $29 if you are following in reverse. Let’s jump into this week’s tip!

52 Money Save Ways: Week 25: Buy Generic Medication

52 Money Save Ways: Week 25: Buy Generic Medication

If you have ever been sticker shocked by the price of medication, both prescription and over the counter, this week’s tip is for you.

Did you know that whether it is prescription or over the counter, all medications have the same formula per type of medication? The FDA regulates the formulas of these medications to carefully ensure that they not only contain the same active ingredients, but also the same strength and form of administration. This means that when you buy name brand medications, you are paying more for them for no reason other than the label.

When getting prescriptions, most drugs lose their patent within 20 years, some sooner. They cannot renew it in most cases, so generics can start to be made. Generics must meet the following standards:

  • Contain the same active ingredients, dosage and administration
  • Be manufactured in the same strict way according to FDA standards
  • Be used for the same indications of the name brand

What does this mean to you? That dollar store allergy medication that you are buying may look different and contain different inactive ingredients, but it will work just as well as the name brand equivalent. So unless you have a coupon for the name brand, stick with the off label brand for big savings. The same pill that costs $1 each in the name brand could cost a quarter.

When filling prescriptions, always ask if there is a generic form available. Some drugs may not have it because they are too new, but it is very worth asking about since you could pay half or less to fill your prescriptions. Be aware, though, you may not always be able to get it even if there is a generic available because inactive ingredients can vary in generics from the original and your doctor may not want you to have them due to sensitivities or allergies to them.


Some great places to get generic over the counter medications are:

  • On end caps in larger stores like Walmart. Some Walmart stores even have a whole line of 88 cent packs containing 10-20 pills.
  • At your local dollar stores. Look on the labels and see what they compare to. The wording will often read “Compare to the active ingredients in…”
  • Big box pharmacies. You will often find several generic versions of the same medication at these stores.
  • Amazon. You can buy generic medications on amazon for a pretty decent price most of the time and  get free shipping!


Did you miss previous Money Save Ways tips? Check out the links below!

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