Need a prescription filled? There are apps for that! In fact, there are several apps and services on the market promising to help you save big on generic and brand-name drugs. All you need to do is download the app, type in the drug name, and the app will bring up a list of pharmacies and big-box stores in your area where you can fill your prescription at the lowest price.
You may need to print out a coupon or show your phone to the pharmacist, but the amount you can save should be more than worth the extra effort. Prescription apps also tend to highlight generic medications first, and then list the more expensive, brand-name drugs.
Prescription apps can be used whether you have health insurance or not. Unfortunately, though, you can’t use your insurance in addition to the app to pay for your medications. You’ll need to choose one or the other. The good news is that prescription apps promise that the discounts you’ll get you on these medications will come out cheaper than the co-pay you’d have to cough up when paying for the drugs through insurance.
Below, we’ve outlined the good, the bad and the ugly on three popular prescription apps so you can find the one that works best for you.
GoodRx promises robust savings on all your medications. There’s no need to share your e-mail address, phone number or even Facebook account to enjoy the advantages of GoodRx. Just download the app, search for your medication and start saving money today! GoodRx claims to save Americans an average of three billion dollars a year on medication costs.
GoodRx discounts are accepted at 70,000 pharmacies nationwide, including major retailers like Costco, Kroger, Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens. On average, GoodRx also offers the steepest discounts on medications compared to competing apps. It does an especially great job at highlighting $4 generics and select medications that are completely free with membership status.
The paid version of the app, GoodRx Gold, promises to save users 90 percent on most drugs, offering 1,000 medications for less than $10. At $5.99/month for individuals and $9.99/month for up to six family members, including your pets, the premium version of the app is generally worth the price for users with chronic conditions requiring ongoing medication. GoodRx Gold also offers online physician consultations for just $10, so you can get that prescription without a traditional doctor’s visit.
GoodRx’s most glaring issue seems to be its failure to consistently deliver as promised. While the app’s commercials will have you believe you can easily save 80 percent off most prescription drugs, many users complain that the actual savings they ultimately enjoyed through the app amounted to far less. Some users also dislike the app’s interface, calling it clumsy and dated.
Like GoodRx, SingleCare promises steep savings on your medications. There is no membership fee or sign-up information required to download, and there is no paid, premium version of the app.
Users love SingleCare’s sleek and modern interface, which makes it a pleasure to use.
With just 35,000 participating pharmacies across the country, SingleCare can be used in only about half the number of pharmacies as GoodRx.
Users also found that SingleCare’s savings tended to be less significant than those offered by GoodRx. It’s important to note, though, that this is not a hard and fast rule. SingleCare’s discounts are sometimes steeper than those offered by GoodRx.
RxSaver, formerly called LowestMed.com, is another free discount prescription finder owned by coupon giant RetailMeNot. With savings on thousands of medications and acceptance at 60,000 pharmacies nationwide, RxSaver is a favorite among many prescription-fillers.
The RxAdvocacy Program, the premium version of RxSaver, offers thousands of dollars in savings on expensive drugs. You’ll need to pay $50 a month and register for The RxAdvocacy Program. But, for individuals relying on expensive ongoing medication that is not fully covered by insurance, this can be a great money-saver. RxSaver also features an attractive, updated interface.
When you input medication info into the app, RxSaver will only show you its preferred pharmacies and prices. You’ll need to click a “see more” button to view the medication info at other pharmacies. This extra step can mean missing out on some of the best prices in your neighborhood. RxSaver also consistently fails to highlight free options available in users’ areas.
How they stack up
Note: When using an app primarily for saving money, the most important factor when choosing one to use will be how much each app can help you save. Dozens of testers have tried these three apps, and most have found that GoodRx tended to offer the lowest prices on most medications. However, there were several medications that the other apps feature for half the price or less—and that medication may be the one you need.
If you’re looking for a prescription app to help you save money on a medication you require on an ongoing basis, it’s best to test all three apps and see which offers the steepest discount on that particular medication.
Your Turn: What’s your favorite prescription app? Tell us all about it in the comments.
Like what you read? Join our e-mail list!