ORLANDO, Fla. – Josh Elledge says when he and his wife got the news their two boys both needed ongoing medications, the sticker shock of prescription drugs became all too real.
"When it impacted me personally, I became very aware that the cost of prescription drugs hurts a lot of people," Elledge said. "Pretty much overnight, we were given the news that we had a new 400-and-something-dollar bill every month because of this new prescription."
The cost of popular prescription drugs increased again this year, as many Americans are already struggling to be able to afford their medications.
At the beginning of 2019, dozens of drug companies raised the prices on more than 250 prescription drugs. Humira went up 6.2 percent, Armour Thyroid and OxyContin both increased by 9.5 percent, according to an analysis by Rx Savings Solution.
So what can you do right now to keep more money in your pocket? Some websites and apps advertise you can save up to 80 percent on the medications you need.
As a consumer advocate with his own website called SavingsAngel.com, Elledge was determined to cut the costs.
"Naturally I'm kind of a researcher, and so I got on the internet, and read everything I possibly could,” he said. "Lo and behold, I came across some really great programs."
Elledge says he cut the $400 a month price down to about $60.
Websites could save you hundreds of dollars
There are four different discount drug websites and apps that could potentially save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Refillwise.com offers a discount drug card you get for free on your computer or smartphone. Show it to your pharmacist to save up to 80 percent on your prescriptions, according to the website.
GoodRX is another discount website known for its simplicity. News 6 submitted the drug Lipitor and for 30, 40 milligram tablets got prices from $18.42 at Walgreens to half that, $9, at Walmart.
Just pick the price you want, print the coupon and take it to the pharmacy to save.
GoodRX also shows you the estimated retail price. In some cases it was $46.
"There are people that are paying $46 right now, and because they just saw this news story, they're going to pay $9 now," Elledge said.
On RetailMeNot.com, we searched for Xanax and got prices from $13.20 to $5.19 for 30 pills.
Users just have to click the coupon and take it to the pharmacy.
Finally, we visited BlinkHealth.com.
We tried Zocor where the average retail price is $30.11, according to the website. The lowest price was $3 with Blink's free home delivery.
Elledge says the websites all monitor each other and try to offer competitive prices.
"They're all going to be looking at what the other guys are able to offer to their members and they're all going to be negotiating harder," he said. "That makes a greater environment for consumers."
Elledge says the websites are able to offer lower prices because of the collective buying power of all of their members.
"Unfortunately, if you're only buying as an individual, you have no group buying power so you are going to pay the most amount of money as possible," he said.
Neither website was consistently the lowest for every medication. Elledge says that's why you should check all four every time you need to refill.
The sites are for those who are insured and uninsured. If you have insurance, in some cases the sites can offer you a lower price than your insurance co-pay.