DRUG COSTS BY LOCATION
Where do you shop for your medications? It turns out that the prices of generic drugs, both prescription and over the counter, differ depending on where you live, so it pays to shop around.
Of course some price differences are related to local cost of living, but even in different cities within the same state, prices can vary by more than 20% for the same medication. For instance, the price of paroxetine (generic for Paxil), a common antidepressant, ranges from $20.87-$73.55 in five major cities. In those same cities the price of diabetes drug metformin can be $11.66-$66.23. Pharmacies mark up medications differently, and big stores like Walmart and Costco usually charge less.
Some ideas to lower costs:
- Check for coupons and discount programs on GoodRx and the manufacturer’s website.
- Ask your pharmacy if they offer a cash discount.
- Ask the pharmacy benefit manager for your insurance company if you can get a 90-day supply mailed to you, which is often cheaper and easier than going to the pharmacy every month. The three major benefit managers are Express Scripts, OptumRx, and CVS Caremark.