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Save Money by Comparing Prescription Drug Prices--Here's How!

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Save Money by Comparing Drugstores for Prescription Prices
 

Compare your prescription drug prices & Save money

Recently, my mother who is a breast cancer breast cancer survivor, needed to fill a prescription drug that is recommended for all breast cancer survivors who have completed treatment for hormone receptive breast cancer. 

The drug is called Anastrozole, a generic for Arimidex.  A trip to Walgreens Drugs gave us a horrible shock as the drug was priced at $620+ for a 3 months supply. 

My sister called me screaming because our mother’s doctor had told her that this drug was generic and “cheap.”  Six hundred dollars is by no means cheap. 

We Googled, "drug price comparison" and found a site called, GoodRX.com.

A quick search of local pharmacies in Mom's zip code told us that we there was a wide variation in pricing among all of Mom’s local drug stores, but the cheapest price by far, was available at online drug warehouse listed on GoodRX.com—The Drug Warehouse .  This online warehouse priced the drug at $24 for a two month supply!  GoodRX.com gave us the simple comparison with one click through Google. 

There is no membership fee; my sister simply had our mother’s doctor send a new prescription to The Drug Warehouse, The Anastrozole arrived within 5 days, no muss, no fuss.

Below is a screenshot of the price comparison for this particular drug as found online today, about two weeks after the day we purchased Mom's drug online:

The left hand column in these 2 screen shots gives the consumer the approximate price for the prescrption.  Even though the drugstore in question, (Walgreens) shows the cost to be $200, the actual cost quoted at the store, was over $600 on the day we shopped the drug.  The online HealthWarehouse price was $24 for a 2 month supply.

I thought that perhaps the disparity between Anastrozole was a fluke, but this is not the case.  Two weeks after this first incident, mother needed a special, antibiotic cream called Mupirocin.  Again, a trip to the drugstore to fill the 22 gram cream revealed that the price was $43.00.  On a whim, I input the prices into GoodRX.com once again, and here is what the search revealed: 

Notice that the lowest price for this prescription on this particular day, was found at Safeway with a coupon printed from the site, or from the App.  The price would have been $43, but with the site's coupon, the final price at Safeway was $17.91.  We were charged $44.90 at Walgreens, but with the coupon, the price would be less than half, at $21.75.

There is an mobile app available for the site so that you can get the coupons right on your phone if you're not near your computer to print the discount coupon.

In some cases, even people covered by a prescription drug plan might find that the copay for an expensive drug could well be more than simply running a comparison to see if the online price is less than one’s copay.  

Save on out of pocket expense on your prescription

GoodRX.com also connects the consumer with the drug company site where you can often find a discount coupon on out of pocket expense on any particular drug.  For example, if my copay on Zetia, a non-generic drug, is $50, I might find a coupon good for 12 times, for $20, each time I refill the Zetia.  This brings my out of pocket expense down from $50 to $30, or a savings of $20 on each refill.  I actually did find and am now using this discount coupon!

The next time you need a prescription drug, be sure to run a comparison between your local stores.  You might be shocked at the pricing difference, and the amount of cash you might save by purchasing your prescription at the lowest priced local drug store, or even by ordering your prescription online.  Also check GoodRX.com to see if the manufacturer of your prescription drug offers a discount coupon that might save you hundreds of dollars per year.


 

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