The 7 Best Prescription Discount Cards of 2020

Save on your medications

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First Look

Best Overall: GoodRx

"The GoodRx website and mobile app allow you to search by drug name for the lowest prices in your local area."

Best for Options: Script Relief, LLC

"All three program options offer discounts on a wide range of FDA-approved medications."

Best for Future Savings: SingleCare

"When you register for their Bonus Savings program, you earn money towards future prescriptions."

Best On-the-Go: ScriptSave WellRx

"Discounts on prescriptions, including some pet medications, may be as high as 80%, but on average are in the 60% range."

Best for Home Delivery: Blink Health

"Allows you to pick up your medication from one of the 35,000+ pharmacies in their network, but also offers free home delivery."

Best for Chronic Illness: RxSaver

"RxSaver offers the Rx Advocacy Program for a monthly fee of $50 per month for people who have chronic medical conditions."

Best for All Ages: U.S. Pharmacy Card

"It is a free program anyone and everyone can use, regardless of age or immigration status."

When it comes to the rising price of prescription drugs, people are always looking for ways to save. Generic medications tend to be less expensive but your circumstances may require a brand-name drug. People who do not have insurance are at an obvious disadvantage. Even if you have insurance, you may not be able to afford your deductible or copays. This is when you might want to consider using a prescription drug discount card.

The High Cost of Medications

The most recent data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that as much as 46% of the population uses at least one prescription drug every month. This may include medications used to treat chronic conditions or a one-time prescription for a short-term illness (i.e., an antibiotic for a bacterial infection).

With so many people in need of prescription drugs, it is disturbing to see the cost of medications rising faster than inflation. A study from researchers for the journal JAMA found list prices increased by 159% and net prices increased by 60% between 2007 and 2018. list prices increased by 159% and net prices increased by 60% between 2007 and 2018. 

Affordability has become such an issue that many people are not taking their medications as prescribed. According to the 2019 KFF Health Tracking Poll, approximately one in four adults finds it difficult to pay for their medication. Looking more closely, 19% do not fill their medication, 18% take an over-the-counter drug instead, and 12% cut their pills in half or skip doses. There has to be a better way to save money.

How Prescription Drug Discount Cards Work

Prescription drug discount cards are a reasonable option. These act like coupons and allow you to bypass insurance altogether. That means no deductibles. You will pay the retail price of the drug, minus the discount. In some cases, you may even get generic medications for free.

Prescription drug discount cards are distributed by companies that also work as pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). These PBMs are the middlemen between drug manufacturers, your health plan (if you have one), your pharmacy, and you.

Because they have significant purchasing power, PBMs are able to negotiate prices with drug manufacturers. They pass those savings onto health plans by helping them establish formularies for the discounted medications and to pharmacies by contracting with them to supply those medications.

If you have insurance, you will benefit by using medications listed in your health plan's information. If you do not have insurance, the PBM can save you money directly by way of coupons and rebates when you use pharmacies in their network. One way they do this is by offering prescription drug discount cards.

There are a number of prescription drug discount cards available for you to choose from. It may take a bit of time to sort out which ones will best meet your needs, but we've rounded up the best discount cards available here. Information is provided from each program’s respective website.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: GoodRx

GoodRx

GoodRx 

GoodRx is a free program that offers multiple ways to save on your prescription drugs. Anyone is eligible to participate, so long as they are 18 years old and reside in the United States or its territories. Children can also be added to their parent or guardian's accounts.

The program covers "almost all FDA-approved drugs," both brand-name and generic, and can even help decrease the cost for certain pet medications. GoodRx also offers specific guidance for Medicare D beneficiaries to help them make decisions on how to save money on their prescriptions.

The company's website and mobile app allows you to search by drug name for the lowest prices in your local area. You can print or present a coupon from the mobile app to get the lowest rate at your designated pharmacy, or use their discount card at any of their 70,000+ participating pharmacies.

Keep in mind coupons may provide larger discounts than cards at times. Medications may be discounted as much as 80% from the retail price, and the company estimates savings of $355 per year for the average customer.

To access the steepest discounts, the company also offers a premium service called GoodRx Gold that costs around $6 per month for an individual and about $10 per month for a family up to six people. GoodRx is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating. GoodRx only lists pharmacies verified by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.

Best for Options: Script Relief, LLC

Script Relief, LLC

Script Relief, LLC

Script Relief, LLC offers a number of different prescription drug discount cards with subtle differences between each program. But, all three programs are free to use.

The National Prescription Savings Network is available to U.S. residents, but there are no restrictions as to who can use these programs documented on the other websites. Simply search for the discount online, present it (via coupon or discount card) to the in-network pharmacy you prefer, and save.

Discount Drug Network reports savings up to 85% off retail prices with an average savings of about $200 per year. This program is usable at more than 66,000 pharmacies nationwide. InternetDrugCoupons offers savings as high as 75% across a network of more than 60,000 pharmacies.

The National Prescription Savings Network reports savings as high as 75% on some drugs, with an average discount of approximately 50% off retail prices. Plus, it has a network of more than 50,000 drugstores, and families can expect to save an average of $300 per year.

In terms of medications included in the respective programs, all three offer discounts on a wide range of FDA-approved medications, and with the exception of the National Prescription Savings Network, it includes selected pet medications. The programs can apply to non-prescription medications, but to receive a discount they will require a prescription from a healthcare provider.

Script Relief, LLC has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, but is not accredited. None of these programs have been verified by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.

Best for Future Savings: SingleCare

SingleCare

SingleCare

SingleCare is a free program available to U.S. residents. Family accounts can include children, but anyone 18 years or older is encouraged to open their own accounts.

Search engines on SingleCare's website and mobile app allow you to search for coupons in your local area, based on pharmacies in the program’s network. You also have the option to use a discount card at participating drugstores.

SingleCare's network includes 35,000+ pharmacies nationwide and prescription medication coverage is broad, with savings up to 80% off retail prices. They provide discounts for a limited number of pet medications as well, namely medications that also have a human formulation.

What makes SingleCare unique is that it offers a Bonus Savings program. When you register for their Bonus Savings program, you'll earn money towards future prescriptions. The program even offers around $5 in bonus savings for enrolling.

Since 2014, the program has saved users over a billion dollars. SingleCare Services, LLC is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating. SingleCare is also verified by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.

Best On-the-Go: ScriptSave WellRx

ScriptSave WellRx

ScriptSave WellRx 

ScriptSave WellRx is a free program available to people in the United States, Puerto Rico, and Guam. A simple search on their website can help you locate discounted rates for a breadth of prescription medications in their network of 65,000+ pharmacies nationwide.

All you need to do is present your discount card to the pharmacy of your choice. Discounts on prescriptions, including some pet medications, may be as high as 80%, but on average are in the 60% range. You can also text, print, or email your savings card, so you have it available when you need it.

Medical Security Card Company, LLC is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating. The program is verified by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.

Best for Home Delivery: Blink Health

Blink Health

Blink Health

Blink Health is a free service and available to residents in the United States.

Like other prescription drug services, Blink Health allows you to look for the best-discounted rates on its website and mobile app. Savings may be as high as 80% off retail prices, but fewer medications are included than other discount programs. Instead, the company limits itself to approximately 15,000 widely-prescribed medications, as opposed to the usual 60,000 or more in other programs that usually include more cutting edge and expensive drugs.

What makes the program unique is that it allows you to pick up your medication from one of the 35,000+ pharmacies in its network, but also offers free home delivery. Because all payments are made online, even the ones you pick up from your local drugstore, your doctor must transfer your prescription electronically to the online Blink Health pharmacy.

If you do not have a prescription, you can take advantage of online consultations with Blink Health physicians to get selected prescriptions (i.e., medications for birth control, cold sores, erectile dysfunction, hair loss, and high cholesterol).

Blink Health, LLC is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating. The program is also verified by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.

Best for Chronic Illness: RxSaver

RxSaver

RxSaver

RxSaver is a free program for residents of the United States ages 18 years and older. You can search via the website and mobile app for the best discounts on prescription medications, from a network of more than 60,000 pharmacies. You can print a coupon, or share it through your mobile app when you arrive at the pharmacy.

Alternatively, you can use a discount card at your preferred drugstore. Savings are pharmacy-specific and will be the same whether you use a coupon or discount card. Consumers can save up to 80% off retail prices.

For people who have chronic medical conditions that may require more expensive maintenance medications, RxSaver offers the Rx Advocacy Program for a monthly fee of around $50 per month. Participation in this program requires an application to determine eligibility, but may allow you to access low-cost or free medications.

RxSaver parent company RetailMeNot, Inc. is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating. The program has not been verified by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.

Best for All Ages: U.S. Pharmacy Card

U.S. Pharmacy Card

U.S. Pharmacy Card

U.S. Pharmacy Card is a free program anyone and everyone can use, regardless of age or immigration status. You can sign up as an individual or as a family.

To take advantage of discounts, check to see if your medication is included in their program, and print a discount card from their website for use at one of their more than 59,000 nationwide pharmacies.

If you do not have access to a printer, you can email or text the card to yourself and show it to the pharmacy team when you arrive. The program does not distribute plastic discount cards.

Savings may be as high as 80% off retail prices, and some pet medications may be eligible for discounts, as well. Financial Marketing Concepts Inc, who owns US Pharmacy Card, is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau. U.S. Pharmacy Card has not been verified by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.

How We Chose The Best Prescription Drug Discount Cards

An online search will bring up a long list of medication discount programs. When selecting one for yourself, you will want to focus on finding one tailored to the specific medications you need.

You may even consider signing up for different cards for different drugs to get the most overall savings. What we did was focus on the prescription drug discount cards that offer the most comprehensive services. The following factors were assessed when ranking the cards included in this review.

  • Credibility: You want to work with a company that has a solid reputation. This assures quality customer service and safe practices. One way to do this is to check their standing with the Better Business Bureau. Legitimacy of online pharmaceutical programs can be assured with verification by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. Credibility is given top priority in our ranking strategy.
  • Medications: Programs that include more medications for discounts are ranked higher than those that offer fewer.
  • Pharmacies: Not every pharmacy will accept every discount card. Your pharmacy has to be in the card's network. Programs that offered more pharmacy options were ranked higher.
  • Savings: Every program is going to tote savings of 70% or more off retail prices, but that may only be for a limited number of medications. It may not reflect what you as an individual may expect to save. Programs that are more transparent and provide more specific, financial expectations are ranked more favorably on this list. For example, a company that notes the average percentage of annual savings is given higher priority.
  • Supplemental Benefits: Programs that offer additional services are also considered for higher ranking. This may include tools for Medicare beneficiaries, options for expanded savings, and online physician services. Providing you with tools to save and stay well is our priority. 

When to Use a Prescription Drug Discount Card

Using a prescription drug discount card makes sense for people who do not have insurance, but it can also help those who are covered, too. A discount card cannot be used in conjunction with your insurance, but using one could cost less than a copay or coinsurance for a drug. It may help to talk to your pharmacist to discuss your options.

As with anything that sounds too good to be true, there are caveats. Any medications that are not purchased using your health plan will not count towards your annual deductible and, most likely, your out of pocket limit either.

This could affect Medicare beneficiaries, in particular. Medicare Part D plans have a coverage gap known as the donut hole. After spending a certain amount on your medications every year, your coverage benefits decrease.

You may be able to save money on your medications during this time if you use a prescription drug discount card instead of your Part D benefit, but keep in mind that Medicare may not allow you to take advantage of certain discounts due to federal anti-kickback laws. You will need to check with the particular program you are using to see if you are eligible.

A Word from VeryWell

Prescription drug discount cards can be helpful for the uninsured and the insured alike. Find one that works for you, but make sure you are using a reputable service that will actually save you money. No one needs to pay more than necessary.

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Article Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Hernandez I, San-Juan-Rodriguez A, Good CB, et al. Changes in list prices, net prices, and discounts for branded drugs in the US, 2007-2018JAMA. 2020;323(9):854-862. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.1012

  3. Kirzinger A, Lopes L, Wu B, Brodie A. KFF health tracking poll – February 2019: prescription drugs. Kaiser Family Foundation. March 1, 2019.

  4. GoodRx. How GoodRx works.

  5. Drug Discount Network. "Home." Accessed April 14, 2020.

  6. Script Relief, LLC. "Internet Drug Coupons." Accessed April 14, 2020.

  7. Better Business Bureau. "Script Relief, LLC." Accessed April 11, 2020.

  8. National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. "Buy Safely - DiscountDrugNetwork.com." Accessed April 11, 2020.

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