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Get rebates on prescription meds

Manufacturers also have coupons for OTC drugs

By Teresa Mears Sep 14, 2009 3:00PM

When I recently needed an antibiotic eye ointment that costs $50 for a five-day supply (with insurance), I started looking for a discount. There was no generic. I managed to find a CVS coupon for a $25 gift card with a new prescription, but it had expired last month. The cheaper alternatives listed on my insurance company's Web site contained an ingredient to which I'm allergic, and my doctor didn't have any samples.


I went looking on the Internet, but all I could find was a $25 gift card coupon from CVS for transferred prescriptions.


But I did find something else useful: rebates for prescription medications.


The makers of many prescription drugs offer substantial rebates. Several Web sites, including Internet Drug Coupons and Optimizer RX, provide links to coupons and rebate forms for both prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs. Savings range from $1 off Bayer Aspirin to $100 for CellCept, an anti-rejection drug used after organ transplants. There are coupons for diabetes supplies, contact lens supplies and pet medications, too.


Some drug companies provide substantial discounts if you sign up on their Web sites, another good place to check for deals. For example, AstraZeneca, maker of Nexium, has a program in which it provides up to $50 per month for a year toward its product.


Manufacturers regularly offer printable coupons, free trials and co-payment reductions on many brand-name medications, notes Flash at the Grocery Coupon Guide, in a post on saving money on prescription medications. Flash notes that while these offers used to be primarily for new medications, the economy has led companies to provide regular savings on many medications. The Grocery Coupon Guide lists many offers on its Rx prescription coupon page.


Also, look for offers in magazines, at the pharmacy and at your doctor's office. Once you redeem a prescription coupon, the manufacturer will generally provide another coupon or rebate voucher by mail, Flash reports.


I didn't find any way to save on my $50 eye ointment, but at least it seems to be working quickly. I did find a rebate form for $10 on prescription eye drops if my free sample from the doctor runs out. I even found a coupon for a free vial of flea prevention medication for the cats, which is worth about $12.


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