Overpaying for Generic Medications? | Health Eagle

Overpaying for Generic Medications?

by Kimberly Hays April 5th, 2015 | Medication
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aspirinWhen we are prescribed medication, we often ask for the generic form in order to save on the expense, especially if we need to take the medication for a long period of time. Sadly, some people even skip refilling their medications due to not having insurance. Consumer Reports recently conducted a study where they found that there is a vast difference in the price for generic prescriptions, and that we need to comparison shop the big chain pharmacies before getting our generic prescriptions filled. The research showed that there can be a difference of $100 a month in many cases.

In their current issue, Consumer Reports published an article from a secret shopper mission they carried out to find out what top pharmacies charge for generic prescriptions that are commonly used. These are medications that the patent recently expired on, include Lexapro used in treating depression, Actos for treating diabetes, Plavix, which is a blood thinner, Singulair, for the treatment of asthma, and Lipitor that is used for treating high cholesterol. What they found was shocking. There was a 447% difference in the price of the generic drugs, showing a huge difference of $749 when comparing the lowest to highest priced stores. Costco came in as the lowest priced store for these medications. In their shopping study, for a month’s worth of generic Lipitor, they paid $17 at Costco, while at CVS they paid $150, and higher costs at Rite Aid and Target as well. This medication is one that if prescribed, you will most likely be taking forever. By comparison shopping, you can save thousands of dollars over the course of a few years.

There are some other things to consider to help save on your generic prescriptions. First, ask your pharmacist for the lowest price. Unbelievably, you aren’t always given the lowest price automatically. Also get 90 day refills as opposed to getting your prescriptions filled every 30 days. There are usually discounts offered when you get several months filled at one time. Many big box stores now have generic prescription programs and have a list of many common medications for $4 for a 30 day supply and $10 or less for a 90 day supply.

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All health and medical information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to replace the medical advice or treatment of your healthcare professional.