When we initially published this blog post, Dr. Stephen Barrett from pharmwatch.org had reported significant difficulties using the Plavix Choice Card program. Dr. Barrett subsequently communicated these problems to Bristol-Myers Squib and Sanofi. On July 13th, Dr. Barrett reported that the problems had been fixed and concluded that the program is now a great way to save money on Plavix. For more, see pharmwatch.org.
Buying Plavix at the cash price from your local pharmacy can run you about $2,500 per year! While the drug has recently gone off-patent and a generic version (clopidogrel) is available, the price of the first generic on the market is not much lower. Drug companies offer programs that purport to help Americans acquire the brand name version cheaply – Bristol-Meyers Squibb and Sanofi, the companies that market Plavix, offer the Plavix Choice Card Program. However, Dr. Stephen Barrett, a consumer advocate, recently tried using this program and found it unbelievably complicated – if not impossible – to use.
Another low-cost way to get this medication is through verified international online pharmacies. Below is a chart comparing prices from a local retail pharmacy in New York, a U.S. based online pharmacy, and from a pharmacy listed on PharmacyChecker.com. As you can see, the savings using an international online pharmacy is even greater (86% savings) than with the Plavix discount program (82% savings). What’s more, unlike the discount program, you don’t have to “qualify” to get the savings.
Drug Prices For 3-Month Supply of Plavix (75 mg)
|Local Retail Pharmacy*||U.S. Online Pharmacy**||Plavix Card Discount Program||International Online Pharmacy on PharmacyChecker.com|
|Difference From Cash Price||—||$49.00||$523.00||$545.80|
* Pharmacy in New York City, price collected 6/11/2011
**HealthWarehouse.com, price collected 6/11/2012