NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

FLORIDA: TWO RX DRUG PRICE COMPARISON WEB SITES EXAMINED

December 5, 2005

Two Florida Web sites launched this year help state residents compare prescription drug prices at local pharmacies. Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist (R) and state CFO Tom Gallagher (R), who both have announced plans to run for governor in 2006, launched separate Web sites -- www.myfloridarx.com and www.flseniors.net/prescriptiondrugs/ -- that use information collected monthly by the state Agency for Health Care Administration.

The Web sites:

  • Include information from pharmacies on retail prices for the 50 most commonly sold brand-name prescription drugs in the state.
  • Allow users to search by county or city for prices on specific prescription drugs, although not all pharmacies report prices for every medication.

In some cases, the Web sites "show how prescription drug prices can vary dramatically within the same town and even the same pharmacy chain," say observers.

Michael Jackson, executive vice president of the Florida Pharmacy Association, said that state residents who purchase prescription drugs from the pharmacies with the lowest prices will not have one pharmacy to track all of their medications, a practice that can help prevent adverse interactions.

Source: Phil Galewitz, "Florida Web sites compare drug prices," Palm Beach Post, December 1, 2005.

 

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