The article “Taming Drug Prices by Pulling Back the Curtain Online” in the New York Times (February 10, 2016) features a new website, Blink Health, which shows reduced drug prices available through local U.S. pharmacies. Its limitation is that savings are mostly on generic drugs, which, for the most part, are already fairly inexpensive. Describing Blink and a similar site, GoodRx, the article notes that, “The sites cannot help much with brand-name drugs, which are made by a single manufacturer and carry prices that can be as high as hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
The article fails to mention that the largest pharmacy savings on the Internet are from international online pharmacies which can offer you the lowest prices worldwide. These prices can be found on PharmacyChecker.com, which “pulls back the curtain” even further than Blink Health and GoodRx by exposing the huge gap (often more than 80%) between drug prices in the U.S. and those in other countries — such as Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand, Turkey, and the UK. You can also find discounted local U.S. pharmacy prices on PharmacyChecker.com.
The table below shows the lowest prices on popular brand name drugs found on PharmacyChecker.com, BlinkHealth.com, and GoodRx.com in comparison to regular U.S. pharmacy pricing.
Lowest Prices and Greatest Savings on Brand Name Drugs Using PharmacyChecker, Blink Health, and GoodRx
I like showing Americans who are searching online for affordable medication, often from foreign pharmacies, that their mom and pop pharmacy on Main Street U.S.A. can actually offer a better deal. It’s actually pretty common. The generic version of Valium, diazepam, which treats anxiety, is a perfect example. Bottom line: no need to buy online or from Canada to save money.
2015 is drawing to a close, a year that the Chicago Tribune is calling “the year of drug price outrage.” Right now many American consumers are struggling to pay for their medication and not feeling a lot of holiday cheer.
We mentioned last week, some pharmacies are actually giving away select medications for free. Publix is one place where you can get medications such as Amlodipine, Lisinopril and Metformin for free. Unfortunately, Publix stores are located only in the Southeast United States. What if you live in some other state? Last week we said we’d come back to you with more reporting on this free medicine business in 2016 – but we couldn’t wait to start.
If you live in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia or Maryland, you might live near a Giant Eagle Supermarket. Giant Eagle offers free antibiotics such as Amoxicillin, Cephalexin and Ciprofloxacin. You just need to sign up for their “Giant Eagle Advantage” discount card.
Folks in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky who shop at Meijer Stores can get the diabetes drug Metformin, the cholesterol medication Atorvastatin, pre-natal vitamins or a 14-day supply of antibiotic free.
Pharmacists at these stores don’t wear red suits and hand out presents, and yes, these programs exist to bring in customers who will fill other prescriptions and spend money on impulse items, like holiday candy and last-minute gifts. But hey, I’d like to think these companies genuinely care about their customers’ well-being and that they believe it’s important to give as well as receive. So Merry Christmas from PharmacyChecker!