Finance Pro Shares the Simple Way You Can Save Up to 80% on Prescriptions

"People should be able to afford their medicine—period," she says.

We've all been there—your doctor prescribes a necessary medication, but when you arrive at the pharmacy, you learn it's going to cost an arm and a leg, and you have to decide whether you can actually afford it. However, Vivian Tu, an ex-Wall Street finance pro turned content creator who goes by Your Rich BFF, says it doesn't need to be that way—there's an easy way to save up to 80 percent on your prescriptions, she urges. Wondering how to get the meds you need without breaking the bank? Here's her simple suggestion for slashing your prescription costs.

RELATED: 10 Common Drugs You Can Soon See "Huge Savings" on Under Medicare.

Manufacturing drugs is much more expensive than you might think.

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Manufacturing pharmaceuticals is an expensive endeavor—in fact, according to a 2022 study published in the journal Inquiry, research and development costs required to bring a new drug to market can range from $113 million to just over $6 billion. To make matters worse, 90 percent of all drugs fail in clinical trials after pharmaceutical companies have already invested the bulk of those funds. This can translate into astronomical costs for everyday people who take prescription medications.

Tu says she's "disgusted by the medical industry."

A stressed customer with her head in her hand leans on the counter and discusses medication with the pharmacist.
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However, this doesn't account for why some drugs are out of reach—corporate greed also factors in, Tu suggests. In fact, she captioned her recent TikTok video saying she's "disgusted by the medical industry."

According to the Association for Accessible Medicine, pharmaceutical companies have instated "year-over-year price increases of brand drugs that face no competition in the market for many years due to abuses of the patent system. A recent report shows the average annual price of specialty drugs has tripled over the last ten years from nearly $18,000 to more than $52,000 today."

"People should be able to afford their medicine—period," says Tu.

RELATED: CVS Is Changing How Much Your Prescriptions Cost—For Better and Worse.

Here's her hack for saving up to 80 percent on prescriptions.

A senior couple planning their finance and paying bills while using a laptop at home. A mature man and woman going through paperwork and working online with a computer
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The good news? Tu says there's a simple healthcare hack that will help you get "the care you need at a price you can afford" by saving you up to 80 percent. She recommends CostPlusDrugs.com (CPD), an affordable online prescription option founded by billionaire businessman Mark Cuban.

"CPD is helping customers avoid high drug prices by charging manufacturer's prices plus a flat 15 percent markup, plus a pharmacists' fee. 500-100 percent markups aren't uncommon in this industry so 15 percent is pretty solid," explains Tu. "CPD also established its own pharmacy benefit manager to negotiate down the prices of prescription medicines. In many cases, medications are sold for less than what your insurance co-pay would total."

There's another way to save on your prescriptions.

Shot of a young woman browsing the shelves of a pharmacy
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On a recent episode of her podcast Networth and Chill, Tu delved even deeper into the pharmaceutical industry while speaking with Hitha Palepu, CEO of Rhoshan Pharmaceuticals. She agrees that CPD offers some of the most competitive savings on the market.

"I really love what Mark Cuban is doing with his Cost Plus Drug pharmacy, because it's the first time I think you're really seeing transparency," Palepu says. "They're very transparent about what's in shortage versus what's available. I really see that as a model for how we can move forward. So I would say always check the price against that."

However, she said there's a second site that could help you save money on prescriptions if you have health insurance: "GoodRx is another great platform that allows you to check the prices of your prescriptions based on your insurance and the pharmacies nearby."

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Lauren Gray
Lauren Gray is a New York-based writer, editor, and consultant. Read more
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