How to Get Free Prescription Drugs

You don't have to pay for certain medications at several supermarket pharmacies.

There are plenty of ways to lower the cost of prescription drugs, such as switching to generics and buying in bulk through mail-order programs. There's also another great way to save: Get your medication for free. Yes, free.

Several supermarket pharmacies offer antibiotics, prenatal vitamins and diabetic medications at no cost. Customers usually just have to show their prescriptions to get them filled without paying. No insurance claims need to be filed. So take advantage of the free medication programs at these eight supermarket chains, or check with pharmacies where you live to see if they offer similar programs.

Giant Eagle supermarket provides a 90-day supply of prenatal vitamins for free at its in-store pharmacies. It has 218 locations in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

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Harris Teeter provides free 14-day supply of antibiotics and 30-day supply of generic diabetic medications if you are a member of its Generic Prescription Savings Club, which has a $4.95 annual enrollment fee. It has more than 200 stores in Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

Meijer offers free prenatal vitamins, generic substitute for Lipitor, metformin for diabetes and a 14-day supply of six leading generic antibiotics -- including amoxicillin and penicillin -- at its more than 190 stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.

Price Chopper offers seven types of antibiotics (and refills) for free at its pharmacies in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont. It also provides seven diabetes medications for free if you join the Price Chopper Diabetes AdvantEdge program (which is free).

Publix provides a 14-day supply of six generic antibiotics, and a 30-day supply of generic immediate-release metformin and blood-pressure medication lisinopril for free at its 1,072 supermarket pharmacies in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Reasor's provides free prenatal and children's vitamins and a 10-day supply of five commonly prescribed antibiotics at its Oklahoma locations.

Schnucks offers a 21-day supply of seven types of antibiotics, as well as refills, for free at its stores in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin.

ShopRite provides a free 30-day supply of prenatal vitamins and 30-day supply of select generic diabetes medication at its stores in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

Pharmaceutical companies also offer free and low-cost drugs to low-income people without insurance. You can use RxAssist database to find free medication through drug companies' patient assistance programs.

Cameron Huddleston
Former Online Editor,

Award-winning journalist, speaker, family finance expert, and author of Mom and Dad, We Need to Talk.

Cameron Huddleston wrote the daily "Kip Tips" column for She joined Kiplinger in 2001 after graduating from American University with an MA in economic journalism.