Here is an interesting article that may blow your mind. This MSN piece discussed what happened when Consumer Reports looked at “200 pharmacies across the country for a month’s supply of five prescription drugs that just went generic: Actos for diabetes, Lexapro for depression, Singulair for asthma, Plavix for blood thinning, and Lipitor for high cholesterol”:
- What they found was a $749 difference — that’s 447% — between the $916 price tag at CVS and the $167 that Costco charged for the same five drugs.
- For generic Lipitor alone CVS charged $150 to Costco’s $17. The generic Lexapro found at CVS for $126 could be had at Costco for $7.
- Why such a big difference? Because CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreen draw most of their profits from the pharmacy, while Costco, Sam’s Club and other discount stores consider their pharmacies throw-ins that help bulk up foot traffic.
- CVS, in particular, also factors in the cost of drive-through windows, automated prescription refill systems, prescription consultation and 24-hour pharmacies that Costco’s Monday-Saturday service lacks.
You could get mad but this is why capitalism is good. Information like this allows you to switch your loyalty and buy your prescriptions for less. That eventually brings the price down at Right Aid, CVS, etc. Josh, over at Atlas MD, turned me on to this site which compares prices. It is called www.goodrx.com. I have used it for patients and it really works. This is how we can really help people if they are willing to put in the effort.