Shopping for the best prices locally & using the internet

The internet, especially auctions, can present special hazards (and opportunities). Find out ways to get the best retail prices locally or via the internet SAFELY.
FORUM RULES: It is important not to do anything immoral, unethical, illegal, or against your doctor's advice.

Not all methods posted here will work. These are simply ideas some people have found to be useful.

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Shopping for the best prices locally & using the internet

Postby AntiPharm » Wed Jan 10, 2007 6:53 pm

I borrowed some ideas and content from other posts here, but this is the way I shop for the best prices.

One thing to keep in mind though is that although shopping around for the best prices can help; the other ideas we give out usually save people quite a lot more money. This is often the first step though. You don't know what you might save if you do not know how much you are spending now.

Your pharmacist often makes suggestions about saving money by using a generic drug instead of a brand name drug. Read Why Generics are just as good as Brand Name Drugs.

First it is best if you can buy your drugs in 90 day or greater quantities. A pharmacy tacks on an extra price for the cost of filling a prescription. This price is almost always the same regardless of the quantity you are buying. (Buying large quantities assumes that these are drugs that you will be taking for a long time. Meaning you have a chronic condition that requires them AND you are fairly sure that the doctor will not be changing the drugs you will be taking for this condition in the near future. You are throwing money away if you buy drugs you might not use.)

Next, if you do not want to buy your medical supplies via mail order pharmacies then simply calling your local pharmacies can give you the range of prices.

My specific experience is that I do not get the lowest prices for a number of medications at a single pharmacy. A decision must be made whether you wish to use more than one pharmacy for your monthly meds. There is an added risk because if your pharmacist does not know all of the meds you are taking then he cannot check for interactions between all of the meds. Often you can eliminate this risk by informing the pharmacist that you have shopped around and his price on certain meds are not the lowest. A great many times he will price match a different local pharmacy (they will never price match mail-order or foreign pharmacies.)

Surprisingly I have found "Mom & Pop" locally owned pharmacies often have the lowest prices and most often are willing to price match.

Big Box stores and Warehouse Clubs usually have low prices.

Pharmacy chains usually are the most expensive for people without insurance.

If you do decide that you need to fill your prescriptions at different pharmacies, make sure each pharmacy knows ALL the medications you currently take so that every prescription is checked for possible drug interactions.

Now that you know your local prices then IF you are buying 90 day or greater supplies it can be good to look into mail-order or internet pharmacies. Knowing a reputable pharmacy is important. Many pharmacies with U.S. addresses actually are foreign based and their drugs come from out of the U.S.

The FDA suggests one way to find a pharmacy is to use The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) which is an independent association that works with others in developing, implementing, and enforcing uniform standards to protect public health. They have developed an internet pharmacy accreditation program called Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites(VIPPS). Click Here For a List of VIPPS Accredited Pharmacies.

When you decide which internet pharmacies you might want to use then go to each of those sites and get pricing. Make sure you get all of the expenses including shipping. (If you buy more than one drug at once often the shipping is no higher than buying just one drug.) Once again, every pharmacy you buy from needs to know ALL of the medications you currently take.

At this point if you are not considering using a foreign pharmacy then you have all of your prices. Please remember though that many methods on this site could reduce those prices substantially (even if you do not have a low income or few assets). Only if you do not want to use any of those ideas should you go out and buy your drugs at this time.

As a final note, prices will vary over time. Some pharmacies temporarily reduce prices to attract customers and then raise them. Don't keep changing pharmacies just the get a slightly better price.
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Re: Shopping for the best prices locally & using the interne

Postby Parquet » Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:22 pm

updated and checked for broken links. 8/9/2011 by Parquet
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