PharmacyChecker Blog

Helping Americans Get The Truth About Prescription Drug Savings
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No Need To Go International When Buying Generics

While millions of Americans cannot afford brand name drugs in the United States, clearly this is not the case for generics – and the prices here keep getting lower! Marc’s, an Ohio-based retail pharmacy, has dropped prices for their generic drugs to a record breaking low – now charging just $1.98 for 30-day supplies of some of their generic drugs. Twenty-seven different generics are offered at this price.

Marc’s low-cost pricing comes as a response to their retail competition doing the same. In order to compete with chain store rivals like Target, Wal-mart and Kmart, smaller, local pharmacies are offering some of the lowest prices. Another example, Discount Drug Mart, – also in Ohio – dropped many of their generics to $1.99 for a month’s supply; this led Marc’s to sneak in at a penny less.

If you’re buying online, Costco.com has very low generic drug prices as well. You can compare prices on www.pharmacychecker.com.

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New Drug Savings Options Needed as 43,000 Illinois Residents Lose Benefits

An estimated 43,000 residents of Illinois will find it more difficult, if not impossible, to afford their prescription medication due to heavy budget cuts, according to the Chicago Tribune. Specifically, funding for the Illinois Cares Rx program, which  subsidizes the cost of medicine and payments associated with Medicare drug benefits, will be cut in half, from $107.4 million to $53.7 million. Illinois Cares Rx includes people with a Medicare drug plan and others who have no drug benefits at all.

With the cuts in place beginning September 1st, 2011, the Illinois Cares Rx program will only be available to those residents earning 200 percent or less of the federal poverty level – or $21,780 annually, down from a higher threshold of 240%, or $27,610. Even the 173,500 remaining in the program will “face higher co-payments for prescriptions — in some cases, double the amount they were previously paying.(more…)

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Patent Cliff Brings More Good News: Medicare Drug Premiums Will Not Raise in 2012

Besides the obvious – access to cheap generic alternatives for once exorbitantly priced prescriptions – this year’s patent expirations on blockbuster brand-name drugs means even more good news for American consumers. A U.S. News and World Report article suggests the Patent Cliff as one of the reasons for the forecasted Medicare savings. Access to low-cost generics on popular drugs like Lipitor cuts spending significantly for plan sponsors, and U.S. officials have announced that enrollees paying for prescription drugs through Medicare Part D will not see an increase in premiums, in contrast with prior years. Rather, the yearly fees will decrease slightly – from an average of $30.76 in 2011 to $30.00 in 2012. All current plan premiums can be found on MedicareDrugPlans.com – Compare Costs and Features.

Moreover, plan enrollees are now receiving a 50% discount on brand name drugs purchased through the coverage gap. However, brand name drug prices continue to increase, which means the discount’s importance is less pronounced. (more…)

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