I’m embarrassed to admit that it was only recently that I started shopping around for my family’s prescription medications. Up to that point, I must have just assumed that the same medication at different pharmacies would cost the same. Instead, that assumption has been costing me through the years.
I’ve looked at a couple of informal surveys that show prescriptions varying by quite a bit of money in some cases. For example, one prescription, a monthly supply of Plavix, might cost anywhere from $128 to $225, depending on which pharmacy you use to purchase it. That is a huge difference!
Obviously, there are times when you have to fill a new prescription right away, and waiting to do your research may not be an option. You can still do some quick research right from the doctor’s office. Make a few phone calls to local pharmacies to find out the price of your medication. Keep in mind that chains and discount stores don’t always have the lowest prices. In fact, sometimes independent pharmacies, when you can find them, have lower prices. Call a variety of different types of pharmacies for the best results.
You may have some luck asking your doctor’s office for a free sample of the medication to give you a day or two to shop around for the best prices.
When shopping around for prescription medication, understand that just because a pharmacy has the cheapest price on one type of medication, this does not mean that all of its medications will be so discounted. To get the best prices, you may need to purchase different medications at different pharmacies.
When shopping around, don’t forget to look for coupons and ask your pharmacy if they will price match. Some, will price match, although they don’t advertise the service.