How to Compare Drug Prices Online
How to Compare Drug Prices Online
Comparing prescription drug prices from one pharmacy to another is one way to save money on prescription drug purchases. Whether you are uninsured, do not have prescription drug coverage, or are about to enter the Medicare doughnut hole, comparing prices between drug stores online makes sense.
But there’s more to it than just knowing which pharmacy charges how much for the medication you require.
Here is some advice for getting your medication and saving money, too.
Determine Whether There Is a Generic Version of Your Drug Available
A generic drug is bio-identical (from the same drug class) to a brand-name drug. It will help you in the same way that a more expensive branded drug would, but at a fraction of the price. After the period in which the manufacturer of a drug is restricted to the original patent holder has expired, other companies can manufacture the same drug. Inquire with your doctor if a generic version of your medication is available. As the inactive components of the medication may be different, your doctor may monitor your condition after switching to the generic to ensure it is having the same effect
Determine How Your Drug Is Listed in Your Payer’s Formulary
Learn about your insurance company’s or payer’s drug formulary. The formulary is a list of medications and their associated co-pays. You may be able to save money by learning which other drugs (from the same class) are on lower tiers, which means they are less expensive. The differences in prices and whether or not a drug is on the formulary are due to whether or not over-the-counter or generic versions are available, as well as whether or not the insurer has negotiated a lower price with the manufacturer. You can work with your doctor to determine which drug will work best for you while also being the least expensive.
Be Aware of Legal and Safety Considerations for Ordering From Online Pharmacies
Rogue foreign online pharmacies advertise great prices, but you can’t trust that the medication you receive is of the correct strength and quality. Many of the approved pharmacies are the websites of local pharmacies that are members of national chains. Your costs may be the same as if you visited one of their pharmacies in person. However, when comparing prices, some may have lower prices, and many offer comparison tools to other pharmacies on their websites.
Keep in mind that if you use rogue sites you risk not getting the right medications, identity theft, and fraudulent charges. There are also legal and health risks in purchasing your drugs from foreign pharmacies.
Access Drug Price Comparison Websites
Once you have determined what your options are among generics, lower-tiered, or branded drugs, these websites can help you determine their costs:
This site will compare prices for online and overseas pharmacies as well as local pharmacies. Their approved online pharmacy rating system checks whether the pharmacy is licensed, a prescription is required, and proper protection is given for personal information and financial transactions. They have operated since 2002.
You can easily compare prices for your specific prescription — including for various administration forms, dosages, and counts. The SingleCare site is clean and easy to use, displaying the cost at various local pharmacies and offering coupons to help you lock it in.
This site checks prices from over 60,000 U.S. pharmacies and allows you to print out coupons you can take to your pharmacist. They also have a free app for iOS and Android.
You may also want to check for local and national chain pharmacies offering free or low-cost drugs.
Be Sure to Include Shipping Costs
When making cost comparisons, don’t forget to include the cost of shipping. While the price on one website might seem lower, shipping charges might make the drug much more expensive.