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Prescription drug coupons: The Real Deal

If you've switched to generics to fill your prescription, the big drug makers want you back any they hope to entice you by promising big savings.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - If you've switched to generics to fill your prescription, the big drug makers want you back any they hope to entice you by promising big savings.

With blockbuster medicines like Lipitor and Plavix, big drug makers are betting Americans will stick with the name they know, rather than switching to a cheaper copycat, by offering special coupons.

The coupons can essentially cut your co-payment to the same price of the new generic rival.

Many of the coupons also let people paying cash save up to $100 a month.

The drug makers are trying to hang on to millions in sales as they're being squeezed by rising research costs, the weak global economy and pressure from Europe, china and elsewhere to reduce drug prices.

However, the coupons aren't always a good deal.

Consumer Reports’ Dr. John Santa says, "Just because a brand-name drug is available with a coupon doesn't mean it's your least expensive option. Less expensive generics may be available that are equally effective."

So make sure you shop around and remember, if you're covered by Medicaid, Medicare or other Federal or state health care programs, you won't qualify for many of those drug coupons.

For people without insurance, it is possible to use many of these coupons but you're still going to pay a lot of money out of pocket.

Last year, according to Consumer Reports, almost 19 million people who regularly take medication used a drug coupon, many of which were found online.

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