4 Popular Medications That You Can Get Way Cheaper Generic


Almost half of all Americans take at least one prescription drug per day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Nearly a quarter have taken three or more prescriptions within the past 30 days, and a further 13 percent have taken five or more prescriptions during that time period. As we all know, drug-related expenses can add up quickly, especially if you take multiple meds at once.

However, experts from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) say that by buying generics rather than branded drugs, you can spend between 20 and 70 percent less on the average prescription. "To find out if there's a generic drug that will work just as well for you as a brand-name drug you're taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist," they write. "Tell them you want the most effective drug at the best price, and that you want prescriptions for generic drugs when possible."

Read on to learn about four of the cheapest generic medications on the market right now.

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Paroxetine (Paxil)
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Paxil is a popular prescription medication used to treat depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), panic attacks, anxiety disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to Drugs.com, a supply of 30 20mg Paxil pills costs over $264.

However, prescription price-comparison website GoodRx reveals that you can fill a 30-day supply of 20mg paroxetine, the generic form of Paxil, for as little as $3.91 at retailers like Shop Rite and Walmart.

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Atorvastatin (Lipitor)

Lipitor is a statin commonly prescribed to treat high cholesterol. According to GoodRx, it was the most commonly sold drug for a decade, before a generic version was released in 2011.

Since then, "the generic price has continued to drop" for this particular drug, GoodRx writes. You can now find a 30-day supply of 40mg tablets—a dose commonly prescribed to patients who "require a large reduction in LDL-C"—for as little as $2.95. With an average retail price of $62.74, this represents a 95 percent price reduction.

Amlodipine (Norvasc)

One of the most commonly prescribed heart medications, Norvasc is a calcium channel blocker (CCB) used to treat high blood pressure and chest pain. In 2007, a generic version known as amlodipine was released, making this essential medication more widely accessible to patients.

According to GoodRx, amlodipine "is one of the most inexpensive generics in the U.S.," and is "even available for free at some pharmacies." Their lowest listed price was found at Wegmans and Price Chopper, which both advertise a 30-day supply of 10mg tablets for just $2.53 with a GoodRx Gold membership.

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Metformin (Glucophage)

In addition to lifestyle interventions including healthy diet and exercise, many doctors prescribe Glucophage to help control blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes. Taking this medication can help reduce the risk of complications of diabetes, including kidney damage, nerve damage, blindness, problems with sexual function, and more, WebMD notes.

Its generic form, metformin, is available for just $4 at certain retailers—and sometimes even less—making it one of the cheapest generic medications out there. "Many pharmacies offer it for free or at a reduced cost under their discount generic programs," says GoodRx.

Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research, and health agencies, but our content is not meant to be a substitute for professional guidance. When it comes to the medication you're taking or any other health questions you have, always consult your healthcare provider directly.