Saving money on prescription medicines

for people with idiopathic hypersomnia, narcolepsy types 1 or 2, or Kleine-Levin syndrome

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How do I find the best medicine price using my insurance?

Check with your insurer

Visit your insurer’s website for a “price finder” tool that compares prices at local pharmacies. Or call your insurer:

  • Ask which pharmacy charges the lowest out-of-pocket price for your medicines. The lowest price for each medicine may be at a different pharmacy. Sometimes mail order pharmacies are less expensive.
  • Ask if your medicines cost less if you get a 90-day supply. 
    • You may be able to get a 90-day supply from your regular pharmacy.
    • You can usually get 90-day supplies from mail order pharmacies. This also gives you the convenience of home delivery. The trade-off for scheduled medicines, like stimulants, is that an adult must sign for the package. 
    • Some states don’t allow 90-day supplies of stimulant medicines. Work with your pharmacy and doctor to see if there are other options that might work for you.

Use manufacturer coupons

Some companies that make brand name medicines offer coupons to lower out-of-pocket costs. You can use coupons if you have private insurance, such as from your employer or the Health Insurance Marketplace. You usually can’t use coupons if you’re uninsured or have government insurance such as Medicare Part D or Medicaid. Learn more in this GoodRx article.

To find coupons:

  • Ask your doctor.
  • Visit the website of the company that makes your medicine and look for terms such as ‘coupon’, ‘copay savings program’, ‘copay coupon’, or ‘copay assistance card’.
  • Visit the Needymeds website. On the homepage, search on the name of your medicine to find PAPs and other cost saving programs. Or call their helpline at 1-800-503-6897 weekdays 9 am to 5 pm Eastern Time. Needymeds is an organization that helps people find coupon programs and other ways to save money on medicines.

How do I find the best medicine price without using insurance?

You should do this if:

  • Your out-of-pocket costs with your insurance are too high (your cost can sometimes be lower using other discounts)
  • Your insurer won’t cover a certain medicine you take
  • You don’t have insurance

Find and use discount program coupons

There are many discount programs for prescription medicines. These programs make agreements with pharmacies for lower medicine prices. When you use a program’s coupon at a pharmacy, they lower the price based on their agreement with the program.

If you decide to use a coupon instead of your insurance, ask your insurer if you can submit your expenses to help you meet your deductible and out-of-pocket maximum. For information on how to do this, visit Goodrx’s article: “How to Use GoodRx With a High Deductible Health Plan.” Ask your insurer about this even if you don’t have a high deductible health plan.

Suggested discount programs Contact
GoodRx 855-268-2822
NeedyMeds 800-503-6897
Choice Drug Card Use the contact form on their website
SingleCare 844-234-3057
Script Save WellRx 800-407-8156
Blink Health 844-265-6444
Optum Perks 866-407-8901
America’s Pharmacy 844-863-0353

Shop around

Ask for the in-store discounted price. Pharmacies rarely apply in-store discounts unless you ask. In fact, a pharmacy’s contracts with insurers may prevent them from applying in-store discounts unless you ask.

Consumer Reports found some of the best prices at:

  • Pharmacies with a large number of customers, especially Walmart, Costco, and Sam’s Club (you don’t need to be a member to use the pharmacy)
  • Grocery store pharmacies
  • Independent pharmacies
  • Online pharmacies such as and Amazon Pharmacy

How do I move my prescription to a pharmacy with a lower price? 

After you find a pharmacy with a lower price, you can usually move your prescription without help from your doctor. However, prescriptions for controlled substances (such as stimulant medicines) have limits on if and how you can move your prescription to a new pharmacy. 

  • Ask your new pharmacist about the best way to move your prescription. This may take 2 to 3 days.
  • Let your doctor know you’ve changed pharmacies so they send future prescriptions to your new pharmacy.

Learn more about how to move a prescription in this GoodRx article.

Apply for a patient assistance program (PAP)

Use Needymeds to help find PAPs

We’ve partnered with Needymeds, an organization that helps people find and work with PAPs. To learn more:

  • Visit the Needymeds website. On the homepage, search on the name of your medicine to find PAPs and other cost saving programs.
  • Call the Needymeds Helpline at 1-800-503-6897 weekdays 9 am to 5 pm Eastern Time.

PAPs from medicine manufacturers

PAPs help people who:

  • Are uninsured or underinsured
  • Have been denied coverage by a private insurer
  • Have been denied coverage by a government insurer such as Medicare or Medicaid (PAPs may have restrictions on the help they can provide to people covered by government insurers)

These programs may also require that you’re diagnosed with a certain condition, such as narcolepsy. Because doctors know narcolepsy type 2 and idiopathic hypersomnia overlap, ask your doctor if it’s appropriate for you to have both diagnoses.

No matter what your insurance, financial situation, or diagnosis is:

  • Contact the program to find out if you qualify
  • If you don’t qualify, ask if they’ll make an exception for you, or apply again in the future since they may change rules about who qualifies

PAPs from non-profit pharmacies

Rx Outreach is a non-profit mail-order pharmacy for people with a lower income. If you qualify, you’ll enroll with Rx Outreach (for free) and pay only the published Rx Outreach price for medicines.

Rx Outreach offers several lower-cost (generic) forms of stimulant and wake-promoting medicines commonly prescribed for IH and related sleep disorders. These include both immediate-release and extended-release versions of these medicines:

Generic medicines Similar brand name medicines
including CD and LA extended-release versions
Ritalin, Ritalin LA, Metadate CD
including the ER extended-release version
Adderall, Adderall XR
Dextroamphetamine sulfate ER Dexedrine
Modafinil Provigil
Armodafinil Nuvigil
including SR and XL extended-release versions
Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL

Learn more on the Rx Outreach website or by calling 1-888-796-1234.

PAPs from other organizations

There are several other organizations that help people with life-threatening or severe long-lasting (chronic) diseases and a lower income:

Organization and contact information Notes
The Assistance Fund
Has an IH-specific program for people taking medicines that are FDA-approved for IH. The program includes financial help for prescription medicines, health insurance premiums, travel costs, and more.
National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
Rare Care
Offers an assistance program for narcolepsy to cover the cost of prescription medicines. People with an IH diagnosis have also been accepted into the narcolepsy program.
Helps people who cannot afford medicine or health care costs. The free NeedyMeds Drug Discount Card can help you save up to 80% off the price of your prescription medicines. NeedyMeds also gives information about PAPs and support for other costs related to health care.
RxAssist Has a directory of PAPs. Search using the name of your medicine to find a program.
Patient Advocate Foundation
Gives professional case management services to Americans with chronic (long-term), life threatening and disabling illnesses. Has a library of free resources on topics such as disability and insurance appeals. May offer financial assistance to people with limited assets and income.
Need Help Paying Bills Gives information on assistance programs, charity organizations, and other resources that can help with paying bills, mortgage, and debt expenses.
Medicine Assistance Tool Matches patients with PAPs, resources, and cost sharing programs.
RxHope Gives program descriptions and downloadable applications for PAPs for specific medicines.
Patient Assistance A nonprofit site with money-saving offers such as printable coupons and a searchable database of PAPs.
Medicare Extra Help
People with Medicare who have limited resources and income may qualify for Extra Help with their Medicare prescription medicine plan costs, worth about $5,000 yearly.
National Alliance on Mental Illness
Paying for Medications
Information on money-saving programs for medicines used to treat mental illness, including a list of PAPs for medicines commonly used for depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.

Access new medicines for free by volunteering for a clinical trial

One way to try new hypersomnia medicines for free is to volunteer for a clinical trial. A clinical trial is a research study designed to learn how well and how safely a medicine works in people. Medicines from clinical trials are free to you and your insurer while you’re in the trial. 

If a medicine seems to work well for you during a clinical trial

  • You may know it’s worth your effort to get the medicine and get your insurer to cover it if the medicine is granted FDA approval for public use.
  • Some companies that sponsor clinical trials offer expanded access. This allows you to continue taking the medicine for free for a period of time after your trial.

Visit our clinical trial web page.

Join our International Patient Registry at CoRDS. You can choose to get more information about some of the upcoming clinical trials on hypersomnias.

Published Feb. 26, 2021 |
Revised Jan. 30, 2024
Complete update Dec. 15, 2023