Shopping for Drugs: 2007
Table of Contents
- Executive Summary
- Comparing Prices
- Therapeutic Drug Substitution
- Bulk Buying
- Pill Splitting
- Generic Drug Substitutes
- Switching to Over-the-Counter Drugs
- Weighing the Costs and Benefits of a Drug
- Case Studies: Price Comparisons for Specific Drugs
- Buying Drugs Abroad
- Financial Assistance to Lower Drug Costs
- Notes & Appendix
- About the Author
Case Studies: Price Comparisons for Specific Drugs
Consumers can use one of the methods previously discussed or combine them all. Total savings can be significant, as the following case studies show. [For an additional example, see Appendix D for potential savings on anti-anxiety drugs.]
"Smart Shopping: Buy the lowest price generic equivalent of the antiplaque (betablocker) drug Tenormin."
Case Study: Cardiovascular Drugs. Patients prescribed 50mg of Tenormin daily can save money by comparison shopping for the best price and quantity. [See Table IV.] For instance:
- An NCPA survey found the price of 100 (50mg) doses of Tenormin ranged from $139.74 at Drugstore.com to $125.49 Costco.com.
- But patients could save nearly 90 percent over the lowest cost brand-name drug by switching to the generic alternative Atenolol.
- One hundred doses of the generic drug ranged $26.63 at HomeMed.com $8.29 at Costco.com.
- Finally, consumers could save another 32 percent (from $8.29 to $5.65) by buying larger, 100mg pills and splitting them in half.161
"Smart Shopping: Buy the least expensive alternative therapy for common heartburn."
Smart buying of this drug lowered the potential overall cost by 96 percent - from a high of $155.66 to a low of $5.65.
Case Study: Heartburn Drugs. By smart shopping, a consumer prescribed the heartburn drug Nexium can save as much as 87 percent. [See Table V.] For example:
If purchased in small quantities (30 capsules at a time) from Drugstore.com, Nexium (20mg) costs about $493.33 per 100 doses; however, a shopper opting for Costco.com would pay $434.67 for 100 capsules, a 12 percent savings.
Buying the generic equivalent of a therapeutic substitute, such as 20mg Omeprazole, would only cost $69.97.
Furthermore, because Prilosec, a branded form of the generic drug Omeprazole, is now available over the counter, a savvy consumer opting to pay $61.88 for a 100-day supply from Drugstsore.com would save 87 percent off the most expensive option.