How and Why Do Prescription Drug Coupons Work?

Updated on March 30, 2021

Let’s say your doctor prescribed you a 2-month dosage of Stress B Zinc, which is approximately 60 tablets. It costs around $12-15 per bottle (66 tablets). However, if you use Stress B Zinc coupons, you can purchase the same drug at a low price of just $6. By using a single coupon, you just got yourself a 50% discount on your prescription.

As astonishing as it may seem, it’s true; prescription drug coupons do work, but the question is, how’s this possible? What value does a simple coupon have such that it can save half the price on your drugs, and why do pharmaceutical companies allow this? 

What are Prescription Drug Coupons?

Drug coupons are provided by pharmaceutical companies to their consumers. They distribute these coupons through doctors, pharmacists, and other third-party online distributors. Whoever distributes these coupons are authorized by the drug companies to do so. Thus, you can rest assured that it’s a safe bet.

These days, coupon programs are mostly available online. All you need to do is sign up for one of these programs, and look at what they have to offer.

How do they work?

Once the consumers get these coupons, they can use them to avail discounts from selected pharmacies or drugstores. And it’s not just a one-time thing. As a consumer, you can use these coupons as many times as you need to for a given period.

Each coupon you generate will work for a particular drug, at a set quantity, and a designated drugstore. Consumers get to choose from a variety of pharmacies and stores, offering different ranges of discounts. Ideally, they’ll opt for the one with the lowest price, and generate the coupon for that particular store.

Why is it so easy to get discounts by using these coupons?

To understand why drug coupons work, we must first understand the difference between generic, and brand-name drugs.

Both the generic as well as the branded version of a particular drug have the same composition of active ingredients. They’re equally effective and provide the same health risks and benefits. They may look different, but the way they work is identical.

However, the major difference between them is that the brand-name drug manufacturers developed the original version of the drug, and to do so, they had to spend millions of dollars for research and development. Thus, to meet these extra costs, they sell the drug at a high price.

Generic drugs, on the other hand, are a lot cheaper. That’s because their manufacturers didn’t need to spend a single dollar for R&D. Hence, they can afford to sell these drugs at a much lower price.

A generic drug takes time to appear in the market. In most cases, a generic version is available 20 years after the brand-name drug submits its patent. In some cases, a generic version may not be available at all, and customers tend to move towards cheaper alternatives to meet their medication requirements.

Thus, in fear of losing business, manufacturers provide drug coupons. These coupons are mostly used for brand-name drugs that are quite popular and also expensive. By doing so, pharmaceutical companies try to appeal to their consumers. These prescription coupons, as we’ve seen earlier, can reduce prices by up to 50% and more. Sometimes, the prices might go lower than the price of the generic version of the drug.

Even if a generic version isn’t available in the market, companies still provide coupons so that consumers can buy their drugs instead of moving over to cheaper substitutes provided by their competitors.

In a way, these drug coupons end up benefiting the manufacturers. So should we still be using them?

Should I use coupons to save money on my prescription?

The simple answer to this question is yes, you should use drug coupons to save money on your prescription. 

There’s a chance that your insurance may not cover some of the more expensive medications that you require. Yet, you can’t stop taking them. What you can do, however, is use these coupons to avail various ranges of discounts. And not just the expensive ones, you can use the coupons for as many prescriptions as you need.

Many will argue that doing so is eventually benefitting the big pharmaceutical companies, and you’d be right in saying so. However, given how the costs of prescription drugs are gradually increasing, what other alternatives do people have?

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.