Consumer Alert: Shop around for cheaper prescription drug prices

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Prescription drug prices can be expensive, but News 12 found that with a little legwork, it could be possible to save as much as 90 percent on drug costs.

“I think people do need to shop around. The prices do vary tremendously between [pharmacies],” says News 12’s Dr. Derrick De Silva.

News 12’s Walt Kane called four pharmacy chains and asked for cash prices on three medications that are commonly prescribed for long-term use. The prices ranged from less than $60 to nearly $600.

Kane looked at the prices for the generic version of the diabetes drug Actos.

Walgreen sold the drug for around $300; CVS for around $200 and Walmart for around $100. But Kane also found that Costco sold the same drug for just $18 and it was even under $12 for Costco members.

There are other ways to save money on prescription medication.

• Check online coupons
• Ask about drugstore membership plans - $220 a year could save the customer hundreds
• Consider independent pharmacies – They may offer cheaper prices
• Ask if stores will price match

“The amount of money that I know that people spend each year on prescriptions is outrageous,” De Silva says. “So do some homework.”

It is important to note that the prices that Kane found are for generic versions of medications. Brand name prices will often be more expensive.

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