Thank goodness for the evolution of medicine. Illnesses and ailments that were once unmanageable and/or untreatable can now be resolved or reduced with the help of prescription medication. When used as prescribed, many medicines can improve and prolong your quality of life. The only problem is, getting access to these remedies can cost you a lot of money. Whether you have health insurance or not, affording prescription medications can be difficult.

Medicine, for many people, isn’t something they can go without. Therefore, finding a way to pay for prescription medicines is the only solution. Outside of budgeting for it, here are some options you might try when you don’t have the money to pay for your medicine:

Ask for Samples

Samples of popular medications are provided to doctors and medical professionals as a means to market their product. If you’re not able to afford your prescription, your doctor may be willing to provide you with some samples that can tide you over. Although this won’t resolve the bigger issue of paying for your actual prescription, it can, at the very least, allow the medication to get into your system as you look for other resources.

Choose the Right Pharmacy

Did you know that the cost of your prescriptions can vary greatly by the type of pharmacy you choose? You want to choose a pharmacy that is efficient in filling prescriptions, tends to have common medications in stock, and will try to find ways for their customers to save like offering lower rates for generic drugs. By searching for “pharmacy near me,” you can also save money. A pharmacy located near you will take less time and burn less gas saving you more money.

Ask About Generic Brands

Just as generic brands in a grocery store can save you money compared to top name brand products, the same can be said about prescription medications. Instead of just accepting whatever brand of medication is prescribed to you, ask your primary care physician or your pharmacists about generic brand medication. They can often save you more than 50% in costs and have the same effects as their competitors.

Prescription Assistance Programs

If you really don’t have the money for your prescriptions but you need to have them filled, there are prescription assistance programs that you can sign up for. Some are run by state organizations and are geared towards those who are elderly, disabled or struggling financially. Other programs are run by private organizations. These programs, using predetermined income data will determine your eligibility to receive financial assistance with your prescriptions. Depending on your circumstances you could have all or part of your medication expenses covered for you.

Drug Discount Cards

Drug or prescription discount cards can be great for those looking to save money on their medication. These cards do not have minimal eligibility requirements and are open to the public. When shown to some participating pharmacies, patients can receive automatic discounts to cut down on some of the costs.

Alternative Treatment Options

If the cost of medication is really getting out of hand and you don’t have the money, you might consider talking to your doctor about alternative treatment options. For some conditions, there are natural remedies and more affordable solutions to getting well. Though you should never try alternative measures without your doctor’s consent, depending on what you’re suffering from, there may be an option that doesn’t require medication at all.

Better Insurance

If you’re fortunate enough to have and are able to afford your health insurance, be sure that you take advantage of that. While the insurance provider you have may not cover a lot of your prescription costs, there are competitors out there that will. Whether during open enrollment at your job or when applying for health insurance on your own, be sure to review the prescription coverage costs to ensure you’re out of pocket expense is as little as possible.

From prenatal vitamins and painkillers to antibiotics and blood thinners, medicine is not easily affordable. If you’re struggling to find the money to buy the medications you need, it may be time to look into the options listed above. Although they may not lead to free prescriptions, it can significantly reduce your out of pocket expenses so you can put that hard-earned cash elsewhere.