High Drug Cost Traps: Part 3, Major Chain Drug Stores Generally Charge The Most

August 17, 2012
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Third of a series

If you want to save on your prescriptions, you have to first know the games drug firms and retailers play.

Rule number 3, according to Consumer Reports “on Health” is that there is a HUGE difference between what pharmacies charge for exactly the same medicine.

For instance, when CR sent our mystery shoppers, they discovered that a month supply of Plavix – a blood clot reducing drug – ranged from $179 to $210 at CVS, Walgreens and Target stores.

But at Costco, the same drug only cost $15 for the same month supply. Generally, Costco has the best prices and you don’t have to belong to use their pharmacy.

Not only that, Costco will sometimes be even cheaper than the co-pay on your insurance. I take one med – to help me sleep – that costs $6.95 for a month supply if I use my insurance card, but costs $7.95 for TWO months supply at Costco WITHOUT the insurance.

If there isn’t a Costco near you, try Walmart or independent small druggists. For the Plavix, Walmart charged less than $50 and independent druggists charged between $19 and $49.

So it really PAYS to shop around.

And, make sure you get at least an on-line subscription to Consumer Reports and buy their Health newsletter. You can’t spend money more wisely.

Click here to read Part 1. Here for Part 2.

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