I went to Walgreens recently to have a prescription (Qvar) refilled and with no insurance co-pay it came to $111.99. The inhaler is good for 100 puffs. In this case, the inhaler is used once per day. That a little over $1 per day… not so bad I guess. Currently there are no generic versions of Qvar so I thought $111.99 was enough to warrant a look into the pricing online. What I found was quite surprising. I thought I would find competitive prescription drug pricing online rather easily. I must have looked for about an hour for pricing search engines or companies like Walgreens readily making available their pricing without the need to fill out forms or obtain usernames & passwords. NOT THE CASE! I found tons of websites that want all your information before they will give you a price. I found the following websites willing to give pricing online without all the BS. The websites listed below all supply Qvar. I was able to find Qvar for as little as $83.72 which is $28.27 less than Walgreens.
See what the FDA has to say about Buying Medicines and Medical Products Online
This is the only “qualifying” live pricing search engine that I could find. HealthTrans is a Pharmacy Benefit Manager and it looks to require some type of membership through an employer. The price search does provide some valuable insight into who is charging what (basically who charges less) for a particular prescription. Obviously this doesn’t necessarily reflect the pricing you will receive. I thought it was interesting enough to see not only the available pharmacies in your locality, but also the price comparisons between pharmacies.
http://www.prescriptiongiant.com – Found the best pricing here
http://www.familymeds.com – The only “qualifying” Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites™ pharmacy I found online.
Through this process, I have discovered that Americans do not care about the price of their medications (most likely because they pay for it like they pay their taxes.... it comes out of their paycheck and it feels good to be "taken care of"). People will search online for pricing for their electronics, computers, office supplies, and all kinds of gadgets and crap, but when it comes to your healthcare... they don't care about the price... WHY!? Demand competitive pricing and value for EVERYTHING you buy people... even your healthcare.