Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

How to get generic drugs even cheaper Rx prices can vary by $170 among retailers
Clark Howard.com ^ | 8-19-13 | Clark Howard

Posted on 01/05/2014 9:39:36 AM PST by RKBA Democrat

Generic drugs now account for well over 80% of all prescriptions. Just 10 years ago, less than half of drugs sold were generics.

Much of the growth is because employers make generics extra-affordable through mail order programs (pharmacy benefits managers). Then you also have the grocery stores and big box retailers who do $4 generics. Meanwhile, a lot of breakthrough drugs that were patent protected are no longer so and are now selling as generics.

But what you don't know about the pricing of generics can hurt your wallet.

The big pharmacy chains discount generics 30% from the brand name price. So let's say the brand name is $100 dollars. The generic at CVS, Rite-Aid, and Walgreens will be $70.

On the other hand, if you go to Walmart or Target, you can likely get that generic prescription filled for $4. And if you go to Costco, prescriptions are marked up 14% over cost. So if they buy that drug for $1, you will fill it for $1.14 while it could be $70 elsewhere!

Be sure when you go to your doctor to bring a list of the cheap $4 prescriptions. One regional grocer, Publix, even offers free antibiotics!

Meanwhile, a new report from The Florida Sun Sentinel finds the price of a prescription can vary by as much as $170 for a 30-day supply.

A reporter named Doreen Christensen called around to price a Lexapro prescription at a variety of retailers. Here's what she found: "Costco $6.99; CVS $114.99; Publix $118; Sam’s Club $83; Target $147.99;Walgreens $116.99; Walmart $115.88 and Winn-Dixie $179.99."

The beauty of Costco is you don't need to be a member to use their pharmacy. Simply show up and explain you want a prescription filled. Many Costcos have a separate entrance for their pharmacies to accommodate walk-in non-members.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Chit/Chat
KEYWORDS: cosco; dsj02; genericdrugs; obamacaredrugs; pharmacies; prescriptioncosts; prescriptiondrugs; survivingsocialism; walmart
This article is a bit dated, but it shows the dramatic price difference for various pharmacies. Note that the article says that Costco doesn't require membership to use their pharmacy. I don't know if they allow you to use their mail order pharmacy as well, but you can always call and ask (or perhaps a FReeper could call and report back....hint-hint):

Pharmacy Member Service phone: 1-800-607-6861 fax: 1-800-633-0334 email: webpharmacy@Costco.com

ALSO: these stores are offering low cost or free generics:

Giant Eagle Supermarkets (Pennsylvania, Ohio, Northern West Virginia and Western Maryland) provide many generic drugs at $4 or $10 a prescription, and some prenatal vitamins for free.

Hy-Vee Stores(Midwestern States)offer $4 (30 days) and $10 (90 days) generics. You can browse by category on the Hy-Vee website.

Kroger (Midwestern States) has a long list of low cost generic drugs.

Market Street Pharmacies and United, Market Street and Amigos United Supermarkets (Texas) offer free pre-natal vitamins and some free antibiotics, dozens of both prescription and over-the-counter medications at $4. .

Meijer Stores (Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky) offers some antibiotics, pre-natal vitamins and some diabetes medicine for free. Learn more about these free medications. You may have to dig through the website to find them because they make it difficult to find.

Price Chopper Supermarkets (Missouri and Kansas) offer hundreds of $4 generics.

Price Chopper Supermarkets (Upstate New York and New England) offer free antibiotics and free diabetes medications.

Publix Supermarkets (Florida, Georgia, South Carolina) offers generic antibiotics, a free ACE inhibitor (blood pressure medicine) and some free diabetes medications

Reasor's Foods / Pharmacies (Oklahoma) offers free antibiotics, and free childrens' vitamins when they have been prescribed by a doctor.

Schnuck's Pharmacies (Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Mississippi, Iowa) offers a 21-day supply and prescribed refills for several types of antibiotics, and free prescription prenatal vitamins.

Shoprite Markets offer free antibiotics and some free diabetes medications, plus 30 and 90 day generics for $3.99 and $9.99. Find more information about ShopRite's programs.

Stater Bros. (Southern California) offers 30 and 90 day generics for $5 and $10. They even offer $4 co-pay drugs for pets! Find more information about Stater Bros' programs.

Stop&Shop Supermarkets (New England, New Jersey and New York) no longer offers any free prescriptions, but does offer low cost generic drugs in some stores.

Target (nationwide) offers hundreds of generic drugs at $4 per prescription.

Walmart / Sam's offers $4 generic drugs, but not in all states. Get more information about Walmart drug discounts.

Wegmans (New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, and Maryland) offers some free antibiotics, and $10 and $4 co-pay generic drugs.

(Source: http://patients.about.com/od/managinghealthcarecosts/a/Stores-That-Offer-Free-And-Low-Cost-Prescription-Drugs.htm)

1 posted on 01/05/2014 9:39:37 AM PST by RKBA Democrat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: freespirited; oblomov; Jet Jaguar; wastedyears; nascarnation; Henry Belden; petercooper; ...
Surviving Socialism Pinglist
Stories and tips with a financial emphasis to help conservatives SURVIVE and prosper during difficult times.

To be added or taken off this list, please send a FR mail to RKBA Democrat. FAIR WARNING, I'm one of the worst pinglist administrators on FR. I ping infrequently then I ping a lot. I forget to add people to the list. I disappear for months at a time when I get fed up with politics. But I do try to make sure that the articles pinged are worthy of your time. If you have an article tip, please send me a FRmail. Search the keyword "survivingsocialism" to see previous articles and pings.

2 posted on 01/05/2014 9:43:29 AM PST by RKBA Democrat (Having some small say in who gets to hold the whip doesn't make you any less a slave.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat
Note that the article says that Costco doesn't require membership to use their pharmacy.

Don't know about other states, but in FL it's state law that all pharmacies be open to anybody. Just explain at the door that you're headed for the pharmacy, and Costco will let you in.

3 posted on 01/05/2014 9:49:03 AM PST by Sherman Logan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat
I had a friend who needed antibiotic's for a scratch on her arm...

When she had the prescription filled it was $170. When I told them she had no insurance they re-filled it as a generic for $14

If she had insurance it would have only cost her the $10 “co-pay”, so she would not care about the price. The insurance company would have eaten the addition $160. This is why insurance costs so much.

“Co-pay’s” are the cause of many of the ills of the system. When the thing you want costs the same no matter where you go, there is no incentive to price things down.

When The government forces insurance to cover Viagara, it continues to cost $170 (or more) for a prescription.

In a free market, a drug that would allow men to have more sex would be so mass-produced that the costs would be down to pennies per pill.

But when The Government forces insurance to cover it at $170, it maximizes profits to keep making it the same way (as if it is in rare supply -OR- demand)

4 posted on 01/05/2014 9:50:10 AM PST by Mr. K (If you like your constitution, you can keep it...Period.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat

Four dollar at Wally World list !... PDF file !

http://i.walmart.com/i/if/hmp/fusion/four_dollar_drug_list.pdf


5 posted on 01/05/2014 9:50:39 AM PST by Squantos ( Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet ...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat

The Lexapro example is misleading. Lexapro (escitalopram) has had generic competition since 2012. It looks like some retailers are quoting the price of branded Lexapro, while others are quoting the price of generic escitalopram.

Why would one want to get branded Lexapro, effectively paying $140 more per month of therapy? Because the manufacturing standards vary greatly between manufacturers as well. Although the manufacturing facilities for all drugs sold in the US are inspected by the FDA (even if the plant is in India or China), a doctor may be wary of altering medication for a patient if the current therapy is working.


6 posted on 01/05/2014 9:57:24 AM PST by oblomov
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ToastedHead

Ping!


7 posted on 01/05/2014 9:59:44 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (A courageous man finds a way, an ordinary man finds an excuse.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mr. K

> In a free market, a drug that would allow men to have more
> sex would be so mass-produced that the costs would be down
> to pennies per pill.

Sure, if you don’t account for the cost of developing the drug in the first place (cost: $800MM to $1B in 1998 dollars)

> But when The Government forces insurance to cover it at
> $170, it maximizes profits to keep making it the same way
> (as if it is in rare supply -OR- demand)

The government isn’t forcing insurance companies to cover it at a higher price. Viagra is still protected by patents giving the original manufacturer exclusive rights to sell the drug. The price of the drug is set by negotiations between the manufacturer and the various payers. Medicare/Medicaid get the “best price” (to greatly simplify matters). The regulatory and compliance landscape is so complex that a company might be found guilty of Medicare fraud without any ill intent. This has resulted in the creation of a compliance apparatus that adds greatly to the cost of drugs for everyone.

Drug pricing is a complex issue. I suggest checking out this book for a true free market perspective:
http://www.amazon.com/Overdose-Government-Regulation-Pharmaceutical-Innovation/dp/0300143265


8 posted on 01/05/2014 10:07:33 AM PST by oblomov
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Squantos

Updated/Revised $4 Walmart Prescription List
(as of 12-31-13)
http://i.walmartimages.com/i/if/hmp/fusion/customer_list.pdf


9 posted on 01/05/2014 10:18:12 AM PST by libertarian27 (FreeRepublic Cookbooks 2011 & 2012 - Click Profile)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: oblomov

>>all drugs sold in the US are inspected by the FDA (even if the plant is in India or China),<<

I don’t trust our FDA to test anything least of all drugs from a country that keeps us afloat financially.


10 posted on 01/05/2014 10:19:12 AM PST by B4Ranch (Name your illness, do a Google & YouTube search with "hydrogen peroxide". Do it and be surprised.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat

I sure miss not having a CostCo.


11 posted on 01/05/2014 10:20:39 AM PST by onyx (Please Support Free Republic - Donate Monthly! If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, Let Me know!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat

Clark Howard always gives out useful information and he is personally so cheap that he is driven to look for the best deals.


12 posted on 01/05/2014 10:21:15 AM PST by Oshkalaboomboom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mr. K
When The government forces insurance to cover Viagara, it continues to cost $170 (or more) for a prescription.

It's not the insurance coverage, it's the patent. Which is entirely constitutional.

Of course, a variety of games are played to get patents and copyrights extended in ways that the Founders never intended, but that's another question entirely.

13 posted on 01/05/2014 10:38:34 AM PST by Sherman Logan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Squantos

Should be noted that your list is from 2008.

Used to get one of the items on there for $4.

Showed up to have a script refilled a couple of years ago, and two months refill went from $8 to $190.

Same drug went up just about everywhere else at the same rate. Never did find out why.


14 posted on 01/05/2014 10:43:25 AM PST by Sherman Logan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: B4Ranch

Neither do a lot of doctors. That is why many patients are still taking branded drugs from the original manufacturer despite generic competition. At least a US-based company can be sued if proper use of its product results in harm.

Why do you think generic drugs are so much cheaper? The same reason that toys made in China are cheaper (watch out for the carcinogenic paint on that toy car).


15 posted on 01/05/2014 10:51:07 AM PST by oblomov
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat
For a while I was getting Plavix and Lipitor from Canada. At the time, there were no generics for these brands. The prices were much better than anywhere in the States. I was getting 100 pills for less than the price for 90 here. The only drawback was that it could take 3 weeks to get the prescription.
16 posted on 01/05/2014 10:51:11 AM PST by fatnotlazy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat

ClaratinD -24 hour allergy medication is $14-20 for 15 at CVS depending on whether you get the CVS brand or the Claratin brand.

Costco’s Kirkland brand is $5.79 for the same thing. If you can get your doctor to write a prescription, you can get a 30-day supply. If you spouse gets 15,you can get a 45-day supply on the same day.


17 posted on 01/05/2014 10:51:14 AM PST by SeaHawkFan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat
But what you don't know about the pricing of generics can hurt your wallet.

And what you don't know about the formulation of generics can hurt your health.

That name brand and generics are not always interchangeable is usually known. What is less well known is that generics are not always interchangeable with each other.

Pharmacies are not obliged to tell you when they have switched from one brand generic to another so if you are taking generics check every new bottle to see that they match what you were taking before. If they are different then treat them as a whole new medication and keep alert for different side effects.

18 posted on 01/05/2014 10:55:54 AM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (Proud Infidel, Gun Nut, Religious Fanatic and Freedom Fiend)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Mr. K

Next time I need an antibiotic, I’ll give this a try...http://www.doomandbloom.net/how-to-use-fish-mox-to-treat-your-sick-fish-of-course/

I have a friend who uses it and has never had a problem.


19 posted on 01/05/2014 11:04:18 AM PST by neal1960 (D m cr ts S ck. Would you like to buy a vowel?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: oblomov

NO...all drugs are NOT inspected in foreign countries....they SAY they are....proving it, though, could be a problem.


20 posted on 01/05/2014 11:09:11 AM PST by goodnesswins (R.I.P. Doherty, Smith, Stevens, Woods.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: onyx

You might want to call and see if they’ll allow you to get your scrip filled by mail if you’re not a member. If you are a member you can do it. The number is posted above.


21 posted on 01/05/2014 11:13:27 AM PST by RKBA Democrat (Having some small say in who gets to hold the whip doesn't make you any less a slave.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat

Out of state I’m not sure about that, but I should call, because I am a long standing member.


22 posted on 01/05/2014 11:18:42 AM PST by onyx (Please Support Free Republic - Donate Monthly! If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, Let Me know!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Sherman Logan

Good catch...my bad...:o)

Thanks !


23 posted on 01/05/2014 1:10:59 PM PST by Squantos ( Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet ...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat

BUT we had to take over the entire medical care and health insurance industries because Sandra “SLUT” Fluck wouldn’t afford her birth control pills.


24 posted on 01/05/2014 1:43:20 PM PST by Organic Panic
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Organic Panic

So....they’re saying they can’t afford $10/ mo for generic birth control pills?

Stupid and immoral is no way to go through life.


25 posted on 01/05/2014 2:11:10 PM PST by RKBA Democrat (Having some small say in who gets to hold the whip doesn't make you any less a slave.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat
I think they can get them free from Planned Parenthood. This is not really about birth control pills. The are using the euphemism of “birth control”. What they really want covered are abortificants, and abortions.

Once again, they are defining the argument as being about birth control, when the reality is quite different. The media goes along with it.

26 posted on 01/05/2014 2:15:44 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: greeneyes

“Once again, they are defining the argument as being about birth control, when the reality is quite different. The media goes along with it.”

Oh. You mean kind of like how they talk about financial stability as a way to transfer taxpayer funds to banksters? Or how they talk about health insurance as a way to bankrupt the middle class and institute socialism?


27 posted on 01/05/2014 2:23:40 PM PST by RKBA Democrat (Having some small say in who gets to hold the whip doesn't make you any less a slave.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat

Surely. You can tell by the names-they are usually just the opposite. For example: Affordable Care Act - Affordable it is not.


28 posted on 01/05/2014 2:27:35 PM PST by greeneyes (Moderation in defense of your country is NO virtue. Let Freedom Ring.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet
Appreciate you!
29 posted on 01/05/2014 11:10:35 PM PST by ToastedHead
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat; 2ndDivisionVet

There are a ton of free drug savings cards around now, easy to print out and bring in with you for a price check.

If you have a super friendly, unbitter pharmacist, they probably even have a stash they keep on them to be used for their fav customers. Not all discount cards give the same price, and some will randomly save a lot more on one drug than another.

I’ve had customers who I use one card for one drug, and another card for another drug. Its easy enough to look at the last refill and see which one you used.


30 posted on 01/05/2014 11:24:36 PM PST by ToastedHead
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson