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Consumer Reports: So Many Drugstores, So Many Prices; New Report Finds Price Mayhem At The Pharmacy
Date:3/28/2013

ass of drug. And make sure you have that talk when your doctor is about ready to write the prescription.  Once you're taking a drug and tolerating it well, your doctor might be less inclined to try alternatives," says Gill. 

Some tips for saving:

  • Request the lowest price.  CR's analysis reveals that shoppers weren't always given the best, lowest price. Make sure you ask.
  • Go with generics.  Generics are copies of brand-name medications whose patents have expired.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that generics contain the same active ingredients in the same strength as the brands they copy.  In addition, a generic must be "bioequivalent" to its corresponding brand, meaning that it delivers the same amount of active ingredients into a person's bloodstream in the same amount of time as the original brand.  Read more about generics at ConsumerReports.org.
  • Leave the city and shop like a country mouse.  CR found that some grocery-store and independent drugstores had higher prices in urban areas than rural areas.   For example, CR shoppers priced a 30-day supply of generic Actos at a pharmacy in Raleigh, N.C., for $203, while another pharmacy in a rural area of the state sold it for just $37. 
  • Get a refill for 90 days, not 30 days. Most pharmacies offer discounts on a three-month supply.
  • Look for additional discounts.  All chain and big-box drugstores now offer discount generic-drug programs, with some selling hundreds of generic drugs for $4 a month or $10 for a three-month supply.  Just make sure your drug is on the list. Offers vary and check the fine print.

MARCH 2013

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