The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > In My Humble Opinion (IMHO)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-12-2011, 03:42 PM
Brynda Brynda is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Do different pharmacies charge different prices?

I just got a prescription for a nasal steroid. Since it came with a $40 coupon, I fear it may be expensive. Ignoring the insurance issue for the moment, are prescription medications priced like anything else, in that the price can vary from store to store?

If so, is there any way to check prices other than to give them your insurance information? I hate to go through that more than once.
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 07-12-2011, 04:32 PM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NH
Posts: 19,533
Yes, they charge different prices. One of my mother's psoriasis prescriptions is significantly cheaper at Hanaford than anywhere else, which is important because her insurance won't cover it at the size she buys so she needs to pay out of pocket (apparently insurance will only pay for a two-ounce tube, which with her fixed copay costs 75% of buying a pound size container herself). Until she did this a few years ago I didn't know that it was common to go to one pharmacy for some of your prescriptions, and elsewhere for others.

I believe you can ask the pharmacy what they charge for the drug and extrapolate how much you'd pay from your copay rate. The actual price would probably require them knowing which insurance company your policy is with at the very least.
__________________
Stalk follow me on Twitter
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-12-2011, 04:36 PM
chiroptera chiroptera is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 4,211
Yes very different....I'd just let your fingers do the walking and call around first.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-12-2011, 04:39 PM
ladyfoxfyre ladyfoxfyre is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2001
Your copay is not usually based on the cash price of the medication, so if you give them your insurance information the price should be the same from pharmacy to pharmacy. It would really only be relevant if you're paying cash for the medication.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-12-2011, 08:18 PM
psychobunny psychobunny is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
FYI- usually the cheapest prescriptions are at the club stores like Costco, Sam's or BJ's and you do NOT need to be a member to fill prescriptions there. In fact, they are legally prohibited from requiring you to belong in order to use their pharmacies.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-12-2011, 08:43 PM
ladyfoxfyre ladyfoxfyre is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2001
Sorry I glossed over the "ignore the insurance issue" part. You can call and ask the cash price of the medication, and yeah it will vary from store to store. Brand names probably won't vary that much, maybe a couple dollars, but generics can vary by quite a bit.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-12-2011, 11:31 PM
GilaB GilaB is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: New York, New York!
Posts: 2,456
Setting all of this aside, is there any reason you're using a prescription for a name-brand nasal steroid? (I doubt you're getting a coupon for a generic, which is why I make this assumption.) There are a bunch of generics out there, and AFAIK they're not much different from the expensive, more recent versions. You might want to ask your doctor if fluticasone or one of the other generics might be sufficient for you; those are much cheaper.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-13-2011, 08:33 AM
SCSimmons SCSimmons is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Just in case someone wanted a cite for the first few answers ...
__________________
-Christian
"You won't like me when I'm angry. Because I always back up my rage with facts and documented sources." -- The Credible Hulk
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-13-2011, 03:56 PM
Brynda Brynda is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Thank you, everyone!

The reason I am looking into the non-generic is that the MD claimed it is not as terrible-tasting as the generic. The sample is pretty awful, so I wonder if the generic can be much worse.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-13-2011, 10:08 PM
lindsaybluth lindsaybluth is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Canada drugs or other similar Canadian online drug stores will get you very competitive, if not the best, prices sans insurance.

Last edited by lindsaybluth; 07-13-2011 at 10:08 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 11-25-2013, 08:30 PM
Sahirrnee Sahirrnee is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Some pharmacies (you can search online) have lists of meds that are $4 for a months supply and $10 for 3 months.
If you do a search on '$4 prescription's they will come up and they will have a list of the meds for that price.
Some others charge $11.99 for 3 months.
Shop around online.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11-25-2013, 09:50 PM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NH
Posts: 19,533
Since this has gotten bumped, I want to pass along a cool piece of advice I got at work: there's a website called "good RX" that lets you search for a drug by your zip code, so you can get the best price from area stores.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11-26-2013, 12:49 AM
Accidental Martyr Accidental Martyr is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by elfkin477 View Post
Since this has gotten bumped, I want to pass along a cool piece of advice I got at work: there's a website called "good RX" that lets you search for a drug by your zip code, so you can get the best price from area stores.
My wife uses this. It's really worth checking out.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:48 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.