Prescription Drug Costs Remain High Thanks In Part To Specialty Drugs

Consumers who rely on prescription drugs could pay more than necessary given the wide discrepancy in pricing between pharmacies. Healthcare advocates encourage consumers shop around when it comes to filling prescriptions.

While it may only cost pennies to manufacture some generic drugs, pharmacies and pharmacy benefit managers who sit between the manufacturer and consumer can add significant costs to the drug. Part of that stems from the fact pharmacists are required by law to physically count the pills and counsel with customers on how to take the drug which raises labor costs at the pharmacy level.

Harry Travis, pharmacist and CEO of EtectRX, said as more consumers are paying out of pocket for medications, it pays to price check and use apps such as GoodRX that do some of that work for consumers. Using the GoodRX app to price check a 30-day supply of the blood pressure medication Olmesartan (generic for Benicar) there are wide swings in costs. The medication ranges in price from $25.90 at Target, $32.97 at CVS, $80.02 at Wal-Mart, and $92.78 at Walgreens for a 30 days supply of 40 milligram tablets.    MORE

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