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Prescription Generic Drugs at Lower Cost

Costco (you don't have to be a member of Costco) 


for link to Urban Legends to verify this.

 On July 22, 2003, Steve Wilson, an investigative reporter for channel 7 News in Detroit, did a story on generic drug price gouging by pharmacies. He found, in his investigation, that some of these generic drugs were marked up as much as 3,000% or more. Yes, that's three thousand percent! Mr. Wilson did a thorough research, and checked out all the major drugstore chains, discount chains, independent pharmacies, and even checked on some Canadian pharmacies. 

For example, if you had to buy a prescription drug, and bought the name brand, you might pay $100 for 100 pills. The pharmacist might tell you that if you get the generic equivalent, they would only cost $80, making you think you are "saving" $20. What the pharmacist is not telling you is that those 100 generic pills may have only cost him $10!

 The basic facts laid out in the message quoted above are true. Steve Wilson, a reporter with WXYZ-TV in Detroit, conducted an investigative study <http://www.detnow.com/investigations/020722.html> into the cost of generic drugs at various pharmacies and other retail drug outlets and found quite a disparity between the highest and lowest prices charged for certain generic drugs. For example, the Prescription Drug Price Comparison Chart available in conjunction with Wilson's report shows that a one-month supply of Fluoxetine HCL (the generic for Prozac), which wholesales for $1.48, varied in retail price from a high of $92.24 to a low of $9.69 just within the Detroit area.

 At the end of the report, one of the anchors asked Mr. Wilson whether or not there were any pharmacies that did not adhere to this practice, and he said that Costco consistently charged little over their cost for the generic drugs. You can go to the Costco site, where you can look up any drug, and get it's online price. It says that the in-store prices are consistent with the online prices. The difference is amazing, and one look of your own prescription drug needs will allow you to see the difference.

 Although Costco is a "membership" type store, you do NOT have to be a member to buy prescriptions there, as it is a federally regulated substance. You just tell them at the door that you wish to use the pharmacy, and they will let you in.


Non-Generic Prescription Drugs

Pharmacy Company Low Income Programs

Prescription drug manufacturers have special programs for people who need their products, but are on low income.  Check their websites. 

For example:

The program at Pfizer is called "Access to Medicines."    http://www.pfizer.com/subsites/philanthropy/access/index.html). 

Bristol-Myers Squibb -- http://www.bms.com/sr/philanthropy/data/produc.html.  Through its corporate contribution program they donate medicines to the Bristol-Myers Squibb Patient Assistance Foundation for its patient assistance program. The program provides the companyís prescription products to people who cannot afford them. This help is available to patients who meet certain financial criteria, have no insurance assistance for prescriptions and are not eligible for Medicare, ADAP or Medicaid. Enrollment in the program is initiated by the patientís physician. In 2001, the Bristol-Myers Squibb Patient Assistance Foundation contributed products valued at more than $208 million wholesale to the program.


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last update, 4 29 04, JL-M




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