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It Pays to Shop Your Prescriptions [VIDEO]

It Pays to Shop Your Prescriptions [VIDEO]
March 15
17:40 2019

Last summer I wrote about how so many seniors are struggling to find ways to afford their prescriptions. It’s a stark reality that as many of us age, more things begin to go wrong and we end up having to take more and more medications in order to try to preserve our health.

For most of my life, I was one of those who hated taking anything, including vitamins and I avoided going to the doctor at all costs. As a cowboy from the southwest, I grew up with the mantra of cowboy up. That means that I’ve set some of my own broken bones, taken out my own stitches, gave myself a tetanus shot, drained fluid off my knee and even drew my own blood for a flustered nurse.

However, I now find myself taking three medications a day along with a couple dozen vitamins and supplements. One of my greatest concerns is the cost of my medications and those my wife takes and even one our dogs take.

My wife decided to shop around for prices. Our two dogs take a medication to reduce some type of skin allergy. She was getting them straight from the veterinarian but found they were significantly cheaper at Sam’s Club.

The same turned out to be true for some of our own prescriptions. We were getting them at the more convenient pharmacy at our grocery store, but my wife shopped and found that some of her meds were cheaper elsewhere.

Our pastor’s wife and daughter found that some of their medications were cheaper at a small drugstore in the area than at most of the regular drug stores and pharmacies.

A recent report also found that shopping around for the best prices for one’s prescriptions can save you a lot of money:

“The price of the same prescription drug can vary by hundreds or even thousands of dollars, depending on where you buy it, according to a new report by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group which surveyed hundreds of pharmacies and found large price differences for identical medications.”

“Nearly one in four Americans struggle to pay for their medications and this year already, more than 250 prescription drugs have seen price hikes averaging 6 percent, according to an analysis by RX Savings Solutions.”

“Adam Garber is the consumer watchdog for the U.S. PIRG. The group surveyed more than 250 pharmacies across the country for the cash prices of common medications, the price someone pays if they don’t have insurance or are under-insured and do not qualify for coupons or savings programs sometimes offered by drug manufacturers.”

“‘These real price variations we’re seeing have huge health consequences for Americans,’ Garber told CBS News’ Anna Werner. ‘These prices are often how they determine how much insurers are going to pay for the drugs … it sort of sets the whole pricing scheme up’.”

“The study found consumers could save anywhere from $100 to $5,400 a year just by price shopping. In Ohio, they found the same inhaler being sold for $11.99 at one pharmacy and $1,136 at a different pharmacy. In North Carolina, a generic medicine to lower cholesterol could cost $7 or $393 depending on where it was purchased.”

“‘You expect like when you go to the bigger pharmacy you’ll get a better deal, but our research found actually the smaller independent pharmacies really consistently offered cheaper options for the same medications,’ Garber said.”

Think about it. Most people shop around for the best price for a home, car, clothes and groceries, so why not shop around for the best price for your prescriptions? Taking the time to shop around, depending on what meds you take, could save you hundred and even thousands of dollars a year, which more than pays of the time it takes to shop the prices.

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