FIRST, THE SPECIFIC IDEAS PRESENTED SHOULD NOT BE FOLLOWED BLINDLY. YOU SHOULD MAKE YOUR OWN CHOICES AS FAR AS TREATMENTS, PHARMACIES, MEDICATIONS, ETC.
ANY SPECIFIC EXAMPLE GIVEN IS JUST THAT... AN EXAMPLE TO SHOW I AM GIVING "REAL WORLD" COSTS AND IDEAS.
IT IS BEST TO "SHOP AROUND" WHENEVER POSSIBLE... WHETHER YOU BUY YOUR MEDICATIONS LOCALLY, FROM AN ON-LINE AMERICAN PHARMACY, OR FROM A FOREIGN PHARMACY. THE ONES IN THIS EXAMPLE WERE CHOSEN BECAUSE THEY ARE COMMONLY USED... USUALLY YOU WILL FIND BETTER PRICES ELSEWHERE.
Now... on to answering your question...
Well there are a number of things that can help.
First, when asking a question like this it is good to provide as much information as possible about your meds, your income, the state you live in, how many people live in your household (you said you are single but that does not mean you do not live with other people.), where you are currently getting your drugs, etc.
You said your current meds are…
Geodon: 40 mg in am; 160 mg in pm
Wellbutrin: 300 mg in am
Lamictal: 100 mg in pm (soon to be 200 mg).
An assumption here is that these are drugs that you will be taking for a long time. This means you have a chronic condition that requires them AND you are fairly sure that the doctor will not be changing the drugs you will be taking for this condition in the near future.
A few things missing is the specific type of Wellbutrin (immediate release, 12 hour, or 24 hour.) and how your Lamictal dosing will be when you finish ramping up to 200mg.
It is best if you can be very flexible in the possible ways to reduce your costs. The whole idea is to end up with more available cash to spend each month. The specific (as long as they are legal) methods should not matter. For an instance, if some of that cash comes from government programs it should be ok (considering how much taxes how have paid... and will pay throughout your life... if other people use YOUR TAX MONEY... you should use it too.) But we are not even to that point yet.
The quickest way to slash your costs is to get free drug samples from your doctor. The drug reps are really pushing Geodon and Lamictal right now (and both of those drugs are VERY expensive). Your doctor is only supposed to give you enough to get you started on them but most doctors will help you IF you tell them about how difficult affording them is to you (and they realize how bad it will be if you stop taking your drugs because you can\'t pay for them). Sometimes the doctor will give you stickers that go on the back of prescriptions that allow you to fill them at your pharmacy for free. That is just as good as getting the sample drugs themselves.
Wellbutrin is not being pushed by drug reps in this way so you have to use other methods with it.
Checking out the Wellbutrin you are taking I found different ways to reduce the cost. I think you will like the answers.
You are currently taking Wellbutrin: 300 mg in am
Here is some of the issues about Wellbutrin and its generic form Bupropion. There is an increased risk of seizures when taking immediate release versions of the pill in high dosages. Therefore it would probably be best if choosing immediate release versions that 75mg four times a day be used rather than 100mg three times a day.
It is important to talk with your doctor about the possible variations in the drugs you take. Possibly your doctor may be skittish about immediate release versions but IF he feels you will remember to take the drug twice a day then he probably won\'t have a problem with the 12 hour release (SR) version.
NOTE: Most time release versions of drugs cannot be split so those options are not shown here.
NOTE: The generic version of Wellbutrin XL (24hr sustained release) has just become available. The first generic drug company that overcomes the hurdles to qualify their drug is given a 6 month monopoly on the generic market. Therefore they price the drug much higher than normal until they have competition. Their prices are usually set by choosing the highest price possible that still makes it preferable over the name brand. This industry practice is known as "shadow pricing". Other industries call it "Price fixing" and the government sues them for doing it.
Neighborhood Drug Store (Note: Mom & Pop Drug stores & "Big Box" store pharmacies are often somewhat cheaper)
Walgreen’s on Black Horse Pike in NJ
Wellbutrin XL 300mg (24hr sustained release) 30 tablets = $181.99 x 3 (90 tablets) = $545.97 (better prices if you shop around)
Bupropion HCl 300mg (24hr sustained release) 30 tablets = $136.99 x 3 (90 tablets) = $410.97 (better prices if you shop around)
Online Drugs – With online drugs it is almost always best to go with at least a 90 day supply. They price it better and shipping costs are reduced or free. NOTE: It is not a good idea to buy 3 month supplies of drugs unless you are quite sure you will be taking the drug for that long.http://www.DrugStore.com
(people have called it very reliable)
Wellbutrin XL 300mg (24hr sustained release) 90 tablets = $437.71 (better prices if you shop around)
Wellbutrin SR 150mg (12hr sustained release) 180 tablets = $419.96 (better prices if you shop around)
Wellbutrin (immediate release ~ 4hr) 360 tablets = $490.64 (better prices if you shop around)
Generic Wellbutrin is Bupropion HCl
Bupropion HCl 300mg (24hr sustained release) NOT AVAILABLE
Bupropion HCl 150mg (12hr sustained release) 180 tablets = $199.98 (better prices if you shop around)
Bupropion HCl 100mg (immediate release ~ 4hr) 270 tablets = $181.98 (better prices if you shop around)
Bupropion HCl 75mg (immediate release ~ 4hr) 360 tablets = $182.63 (better prices if you shop around)
Foreign Drug Stores
One Canada drugstore\'s (This is one that the state of Wisconsin uses) prices. NOTE: There is a wide variance, a friend uses http://www.candrugstore.com
regularly because of reliability and good prices. http://www.canadadrugs.com
Wellbutrin XL 300mg (24hr sustained release) 90 tablets = $222.35 (better prices if you shop around)
Wellbutrin SR 150mg (12hr sustained release) NOT AVAILABLE
Wellbutrin (immediate release ~ 4hr) NOT AVAILABLE
Generic Wellbutrin is Bupropion HCl
Bupropion HCl (12hr sustained release) (effectively) 180 tablets = $147.39 (actually must buy 2 x 60 bottles @ $110.54 (better prices if you shop around)
Bupropion HCl (immediate release ~ 4hr) (effectively) 360 tablets = $259.38 (actually must buy 4 x 100 bottles @ $72.05 (better prices if you shop around)
NOTE: Here is a good example of why you check ALL the prices in a pharmacy. The generic immediate release version should be the cheapest. It is actually more expensive than the brand name 24 hour release.
The end result is that strictly by shopping, using the generic version, and switching from the 24 hour to the 12 hour release versions (since there is only a minor savings to use the generic immediate release); you spend about 36% as the local pharmacy I checked ($545.97 versus $199.98 ) without using a foreign pharmacy. If you did use that foreign pharmacy then you would be spending about 27% as much ($545.97 versus $147.39).
Now... how about saving 95% of the cost instead? ($545.97 versus $30) without using a drug company Prescription Aid Plan (PAP) (many can be hard to qualify for because of income and other restrictions.).
offers assistance to qualified individuals for generic medications through its innovative program. There is no cost to join and no monthly fees. For a one person household, the monthly Gross income cannot exceed $2056.17. Bupropion HCl is available for $30 for a 90 day supply (NOTE: Most of their drugs are $20 / 90 days).
Then again possibly you could get Wellbutrin XL brand name drug for free using the GlaxoSmithKline "Bridges to Access" program http://www.bridgestoaccess.com
The patient must have no prescription coverage for the medication and have an income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. The patient must also be a US resident. For a one person household the monthly Gross income cannot exceed $1,633.33. This is where it can get weird. If by chance you were making $1730 / month and asked your employer to lower your pay to $1630. Your actual take home pay would not drop by $100 because of all of the deductions they take out. Your actual money to pay bills would go up by $100 to $400 though because you\'d be getting your Wellbutrin for free. It would probably go up even more because other drugs you take might fall within the same $1633 / month limit which would allow you to get them for free as well.
If you are slightly over that then it could be good to keep an eye on "Rx Outreach" http://www.rxoutreach.com
that specializes in higher incomes ($2041.67 / month - higher in Alaska & Hawaii). They are tied with about 55 assistance programs. Unfortunately they do not currently handle Wellbutrin.
For even higher incomes ($2500 / month - higher in Alaska & Hawaii). There is TogetherRxAccess http://www.TogetherRxAccess.com
They represent 275 name brand prescription drugs and a wide range of generic drugs as well.
Remember the income limitations shown here are based upon a one person household. (More people in the house means more income is allowed. Astra Zeneca allows incomes of $60,000 in some cases.) :D