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Medically reviewed by, Russell Braun RPH
It hits you square in the gut. Right after your doctor gets done telling you the diagnosis, your confused and a little scared of what that means for your future health. Then boom…. you go to pick up the new prescription medicine and the price tag is huge. Not even thinking clearly you simply put it on your credit card and walk out of the store.
Sound familiar for you or someone you know?
Pharmacy prescription discount cards like FamilyWize try to help you cut costs on medications. However, when you see advertisements claiming up to 40% off the price with a free discount card many are skeptical. That is why a FamilyWize review from a pharmacist perspective can help answer your questions and point out how and when to best use this discount card.
What is the FamilyWize pharmacy prescription savings card?
FamilyWize is a for profit business that offers a free (more on this below) prescription discount savings card. It claims to save you around 40% on prescription medications. They are owned by a Pharmacy Benefits Manager (PBM) RxSense. They have also partnered with many nonprofit organizations to provide discounts on medications. Some of these include:
- United Way
- American Heart Association
- National Council on Aging
FamilyWize has a website and mobile app that allow you to search for prices at pharmacies near you on your medication. These are free for anyone to use, with no registration or information required from you. The FamilyWize mobile app is also free to download.
Below is what the website looks like when a basic search is done using a drug and a location. As you scroll down many pharmacies will be listed in order by price that you would have to pay.
FamilyWize contracts with pharmacies to get discounts on prescription medications. It is important to remember this is NOT insurance. The size of the discount will vary drug by drug and pharmacy by pharmacy. While these discount cards do save money, the average savings is normally much less than 40%. In fact, FamilyWize average savings normally range between 20-30%, which can still be significant.
How to get your discount
You can use the FamilyWize discount to shop for better prices after your doctor has written the prescription. There is no sign off or notification required by your doctor. After finding the pharmacy with the best price that you want to use, click get free card. After that you can print the discount coupon or download it on your mobile device. Finally, give the card or discount code to your pharmacist.
They will use the numbers on the FamilyWize prescription card (see below) when filling your script and give you the price you saw on the website. Making the process very simple.
What types of drugs are included?
The FamilyWize app and website allow you to search by individual drug and your location.
Like other pharmacy prescription discount card programs, FamilyWize offers savings on any drug you have a prescription for. That means if you take a drug that is Over The Counter (OTC) you will not be able to search and find it. Therefore, you will not be able to receive a discount in those cases. Keep in mind that some drugs sold as OTC’s do have prescription strengths. In those cases you would be able to find discounts on the prescription strength versions.
Similarly, some human medications can be used for pets. In those cases you can also use your FamilyWize discount for pet medications.
**FamilyWize does note that Walmart pharmacy does not allow the pet option, however other pharmacies should allow this.
Dietary supplements, vitamins, herbal products will not be available for discounts via FamilyWize app or website.
What pharmacies participate in the FamilyWize discount?
FamilyWize claims to work at all major retail pharmacy chains and most independent pharmacies. That claim is likely a little inflated. Major chain pharmacies, would honor these discounts at all of their stores. In fact, FamilyWize does not provide locations near you for each pharmacy like some other pharmacy discount card options do. Instead they simply show the pharmacy name. The table below lists some of the key pharmacy partners that accept FamilyWize according to their website.
Smaller local chains or independent pharmacies may not accept many pharmacy discount savings programs. They have to offer discounts and some of those pharmacies can’t compete in that game like the larger chains can. FamilyWize claims that smaller chains and independent pharmacies are included in their results. However, several searches in the midwest did not reveal many of these types of pharmacies.
If don’t see the pharmacy you use in the search results, just ask them to price match the price you see in FamilyWize. Many times to keep your business they will do that!
How does FamilyWize make money?
FamilyWize is “free” so how do they make money, is there a catch?
There are different types of discount cards and they make money in slightly different ways. FamilyWize is free to the user because they make money in two ways.
1. FamilyWize collects a transaction fee off of their transaction with the pharmacy. Remember I mentioned they are owned by a Pharmacy Benefits Manager (PBM). These insurance middlemen collect fees from insurance transactions as well. In this case they are collecting the fee from the pharmacy in exchange for driving traffic to them.
2. From the data they collect. Marketing of data is big business! While they may not share your personal details with marketers or pharmaceutical manufacturers, rest assured they can get paid for the rest of the information collected.
FamilyWize terms and conditions
- Use of the service
- Pages viewed
- Date and time(s) of use
- Duration of activity
Their policies state the following:
1. “FamilyWize may collect information on the times and ways you use this Website in order to make improvements to it. We may collect information through the use of technologies, such as cookies. FamilyWize’s use of such technologies to obtain non-protected health information or non-personally identifiable information while you use this Website allows us to improve the Website and Your online experience will using it.”
2. “Cardholder acknowledges and agrees that by using the Card or services offered by FamilyWize, information related to the prescriptions obtained through the prescription drug discount program (“FW Program”) will be collected from pharmacies that participate. Such information includes name identifiers, birth date, gender, zip code information, and prescription information. Cardholder acknowledges and agrees that this information received by pharmacies that participate with FW and subsequently disclosed to FW will be used for the administration of the FW prescription drug discount program and disclosed to third parties in connection with functions FW performs for pharmacies and other Covered Entities for purposes of other programs that FW may enter into with health care providers or health plans. FW does not sell such information to any third parties.”
Below are the types of data FamilyWize may collect from your computer or mobile device in addition to general usage and account information:
- Location information based on your mobile device or zip code
- IP address
- Mobile device identifier
- Marketing technology, examples include Google and Facebook.
- Mobile device information including your browsing history.
If you create an account then your name, date of birth, email, gender and address will be collected also. This specific personal information will not be shared. Instead, they aggregate data so you can’t be identified individually but as part of a group. Then FamilyWize does share certain data with marketers so that products and services can be offered to people in certain groups.
These are not a reason prevent you from using FamilyWize prescription savings card, but be aware how your data could be used.
Can you use a prescription discount card with insurance?
You can NOT combine any pharmacy prescription drug discount card with insurance. FamilyWize is no exception to this rule. The FamilyWize card is not insurance and is not intended to replace insurance.
If you have health insurance, be sure to compare your copay cost to the discounted rate available through the prescription savings program so you can be sure you’re getting the best price possible.
However, it is important to remember you should ALWAYS look at prices of medications that are covered by your insurance using the FamilyWize pricing tool. Why?
The answer is simple but shocking to most people. Your insurance copay does not guarantee you the best price! In many cases the FamilyWize prescription savings card will be cheaper than your copay. See the example below.
|Wellbutrin SR (Bupropion SR) 150mg #30 tablets
|FamilyWize discount price
Comparison shopping using the FamilyWize prescription savings card is a great way to save money!
What about drugs not covered by insurance?
When insurance is not going to foot the bill for your drug, you should always shop around using a pharmacy prescription drug discount app like FamilyWize.
Some examples of this include:
1. Have a high deductible health plan (HDHP)?
- The pharmacy is not going to offer up the discounted price to you, instead you need to know that this is available and search for the best price.
- Keep in mind that any time FamilyWize prescription savings card is used that will NOT apply toward your deductible.
If you use a discount card to pay for your medication during the Medicare coverage gap it will not count toward your True Out Of Pocket (TROOP) expenses either. However, if you don’t expect to get out of the coverage gap and into the catastrophic phase then saving all that you can with a prescription discount card is the way to go. This would reduce your overall money out of pocket until everything resets on January 1st.
2. Drugs that Medicare Part D and commercial insurance commonly do not cover are used to treat the following health problems.
|Cough and cold
For these medications pharmacy prescription drug discount cards may be the only way to get money off of the full cash price! Online retailers will carry some of these products also, click here to see more.
Does FamilyWize have a membership?
In addition to the basic drug price searching features FamilyWize offers, they do not have a paid membership like some other prescription savings cards do. Often memberships offer deeper discounts, but you have to pay a monthly fee.
Instead FamilyWize allows you to create free account.
How does it work?
To create an account simply provide some basic information. Once you create the account you can access your account via login on your computer or via the mobile app. Instead of searching for your drugs each time when you have an account, you can save your medications in FamilyWize. This makes it quick and easy to search for discounts, but why would you need to do this more than once?
Pharmacy prices for medications change frequently. Therefore, checking prices each time you go may prevent a surprise increase in cost. The FamilyWize account lets you easily reprice all your drugs each month or every time you fill them.
FamilyWize account features include:
- Save all of your medications for future lookup.
- Receive alerts when another pharmacy has a lower drug price in your area.
As discussed above creating an account provides ScriptSave WellRx more of your personal information. You should weigh information privacy versus the potential benefits.
Why did I get a FamilyWize card?
As mentioned FamilyWize partners with several non profit organizations as well as the National Council on Aging (NCOA). If you have been affiliated with one of these groups or signed up for their mailing list(s) they may send you a FamilyWize discount card in the mail.
The cards are free to anyone and these organizations are typically trying to help their membership by lowering costs on medications. You are not required to use the card and it is NOT insurance. Therefore, it should not be used in place of your insurance card.
Is FamilyWize legit?
Yes, FamilyWize is a legitimate prescription discount card. Here are some facts to back up that statement.
- FamilyWize partners with over 15 non profit organizations such as United Way and the American Heart Association
- FamilyWize.org is listed as a safe website by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). They are the organization that regulates pharmacy laws state by state. Their safe website verification is intended to help patients know if they can trust online pharmacies.
- They have a customer service phone number you can call if questions or concerns arise.
A few things that could help legitimize FamilyWize further include:
- The organization is not currently accredited or listed on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website
- FamilyWize has no reviews on Trustpilot.com
How does FamilyWize set their price?
Knowing how prices are set before you go to the pharmacy can save you from heartache and frustration. Prices pharmacies pay to acquire drugs change very frequently, like several times per day! Keep these things in mind before you go to the pharmacy.
1. FamilyWize prices come from many sources such as:
- Published price lists
- Claims of prescriptions that have been filled in the past
- Price data provided by pharmacies
2. Prices can change at any time.
3. No prices are gauranteed, they are estimates.
4. Most of the savings with discount programs comes from generic drugs, which can have many different manufacturers making generics of the same medication.
- Therefore, if FamilyWize uses one manufacturer but the pharmacy has pills from a different one the prices may not match.
Pros of FamilyWize prescription savings card:
1. It is free to use, just remember your data is being shared.
2. No problems that you run into with insurance such as:
- Prior authorization
- Formulary problems
- Drug not being covered
- Quantity being limited
- Step therapy required
3. No eligibility requirements for use.
4. Creating a free account saves your medications so they can be more easily repriced every month.
5. Save on pet medications when your vet writes a prescription for a human medication that is used for your animal companion.
6. State asssitance programs are listed that offer assistance with healthcare, food and shelter.
7. Community support specialist are available to assist you with using the FamilyWize discount card.
Cons of FamilyWize prescription discount card:
1. Prices can change unexpectedly.
2. Prices may change between refills.
3. Over the counter drugs are not able to be searched and priced. Only medications that are prescription strength.
4. Does not show pharmacy by the location or on a map like some other discount cards do.
5. When you pay with a FamilyWize prescription savings card the amount you pay after the discount DOES NOT APPLY TO YOUR DEDUCTIBLE for insurance or toward out of pocket maximum amounts.
6. FamilyWize does not have a mail order pharmacy option like some other prescription discount cards do.
7. Doctor visits via telehealth are not able to be searched or scheduled as some competitors to FamilyWize offer.
What do the customer reviews say?
Both the Better Business Bureau nor Truspilot websites have no reviews for FamilyWize. Furthermore, FamilyWize is not accredited with the BBB.
A few reviews were available on Amazon.com and the FamilyWize Facebook page. These reviews averaged out to about 3.5 out of 5 stars. However, like with any review keep in mind most reviews are left by people who had some kind of issue or problem.
Most pharmacy discount prescription savings cards, have several complaints. The majority of reviews that brought up problems centered around a price discrepancy.
Let’s face it, medications can be confusing. Strange strengths, dosage forms, quantities can lead even someone familiar with medication to pick a variable that is not correct. When that happens and the patient thinks they have the right price, only to find out it doesn’t match, naturally they get angry. Several of the lower reviews appear to be related to this type of situation.
Helpful tips to remember from the FamilyWize reviews
- The price quoted may change day to day or even within a few hours.
- Make sure you print the coupon and take it with you, or have it available on your phone.
- Quoted prices do not always match, FamilyWize customer service says that prices are estimated and final price comes from the pharmacy.
- Some people indicated that not all meds available for discount with FamilyWize.
What is similar to FamilyWize?
FamilyWize is similar to other pharmacy prescription discount card programs. Most offer websites and apps or the option to print off a physical card that can be taken to the pharmacy. In addition, they most make there money the same way. Here are some of the most common FamilyWize competitors:
- Blink Health
- US Pharmacy Card
- ScriptSave WellRx
- Drug Discount Network
- Script Relief
Read my overview on pharmacy prescription discount cards for more details.
The main difference(s) between FamilyWize and it’s competitors include:
- Saving your medications within your FamilyWize account
- Pet prescription discounts
- State assistance programs
What is the best prescription discount card?
This question is going to depend on what prescriptions you take and what area of the country you live in. FamilyWize Claims to have a similar number of available pharmacies than many other pharmacy prescription discount savings cards.
There is not a one size fits all approach to pharmacy prescription discount cards!
Therefore, the BestRxforSavings best practice is to put all the drugs you take in a medication list and then spend some time comparing prices utilizing all the drug discount card apps or websites.
Some may offer price match guarantees as well. That way you don’t have to drive all over town to different pharmacies or always use different discount apps.
Below is a table showing how FamilyWize stacks up against GoodRx and Blink Health for the top 10 prescription medications (by number filled). Keep in mind this is for a midwestern U.S. location and drug prices change frequently.
|Lisinorpril 10mg, #30 tablets
|Atorvastatin 20mg, #30 tablets
|Levothyroxine 100mcg, #30 tablets
|Metformin 500mg, #60 tablets
|Amlodipine 10mg, #30 tablets
|Metoprolol tartrate 25mg, #60 tablets
|Omeprazole 20mg, #14 capsules
|Simvastatin 20mg, #30 tablets
|Losartan 50mg, #30 tablets
|Albuterol 8.5 gram, #1 inhaler
Overall my review of FamilyWize is the discounts are not quite as large. This may be due to the fact that they are owned by a Pharmacy Benefits Manager (PBM) who are used to taking cuts of discounted prices in the health insurance space. Another problem was searching for medications is not really straightforward even to a pharmacist.
How to get the FamilyWize app
You can download the FamilyWize app by simply searching Rx Discount card by FamilyWize in the Apple app store or in Google play. Simply look for the icon below.
Click here to get Dr. Jason Reed’s exclusive list of medication questions you MUST ask your doctor, for FREE!
Share your story
Have you tried using the FamilyWize prescription savings card? Also, please share how much it saved you. Chime in below with your comments and thoughts.