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Save $180 on medication | Dollar Saver tip #49

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Save: $180+

Tip overview:

Here are two ways to save on your medication.

As of 1 September 2023, nearly 100 common medicines listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) are eligible for a 60-day prescription.

If you take a medication listed on the PBS, you'll now be able to purchase twice the amount for the same price as a 30-day prescription.

With a 60-day prescription you may be able to save up to:

  • $180 a year, per medicine for Medicare card-holders who do not have a concession card
  • $43.80 a year, per medicine for concession cardholders.

But if your medication isn't on the PBS, there's still a way you can save on the cost.

After talking to my doctor, I was able to save approximately $222 per year across 3 medications by switching to generics.

Did you know?

Every medicine has 2 names:

  • A brand name that is given to it by the pharmaceutical company that markets the medicine.
  • A generic name that is the medicine's active ingredient that makes it work.

Here's a non-prescription example: paracetamol is the active ingredient in Panadol, a popular pain reliever. At Woolworths, a 20-pack of generic paracetamol tablets is $0.80 but a 20-pack of Panadol tablets is $6.00 – that's more than 7 times the price! And similar gaps can be seen with prescription medications.

According to the government website healthdirect, generic medicines in Australia can only be sold if they work the same way as brand-name medicine.

Generic medicines have the same active ingredient as brand-name medicines and work in the same way, but may look different and contain different non-active ingredients.

They are often cheaper than brand-name medicines because the company that produces them does not need to invest money in research, marketing and development.

IMPORTANT: Your doctor might have you on brand-name medication for a reason. So if you're interested in switching your prescriptions to a generic brand, make sure to check with your doctor and pharmacist first, before making any decisions about your health.

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