Tuesday, October 27, 2015

This is NOT a scam/joke post!! Want to (potentially) save 50% (or so) on prescription drugs?!?

If you're like a lot of people, prescription drugs are big expense in the monthly budget.  I felt compelled to write the headline I did (above), given that "how to save 50% on drugs" sounds like a scam.  But this is NOT.  For details, read on ...

Sometimes I'm embarrassed to admit that as a self-proclaimed deal-hunter, there are certain expenses in my monthly budget that don't get the same scrutiny as others.  One that jumps to mind is car insurance.  It's silly that I've been with the same insurance company for years without shopping price. I hereby proclaim to take care of that situation soon.  But that's not today's topic.

Today I was presented a BIG revelation on another major monthly expense for many families ... prescription drugs.  What I'm going to tell you about is either going to be a big "aha" revelation (as it was for me), or else you're going to say, "you idiot, you didn't know about that already?"  Either way, I can live with it, but I had to share my new-found knowledge.

I'm sure there are others that could (or already have) written far more in-depth on this topic, but suffice to say that there is often a BIG difference in prices from one pharmacy to another.  And if you buy multiple drugs, you might find that different pharmacies have far better prices than the other for each of the drugs (i.e. - you might ultimately save a significant amount buying drug A at one store, and drug B at another).

So what's the big revelation?  And, trust me, I have ZERO relationship (financial or otherwise) to this company.  Also, full disclosure, this is a brand new personal discovery, so I'm sure there's more for me to learn (so please chime in if you'd like to further my education!).  But I've kept you waiting long enough.  The website, and related app, is called GoodRx.  (Also worth noting that there appear to be, via a quick Google search, other prescription price comparison services.  But my initial impressions of GoodRx are very good and one user of the app I know swears that it is the best.)  Here's a short promo video from their website that describes their service pretty well:

I'm not going to rehash what's already covered on their website and in the video.  But suffice to say that I was pretty shocked when I found out how much we had been paying for one prescription drug our family uses, especially after applying a (digital) "coupon" shown in the GoodRx app.  (Thanks unnamed major retail pharmacy for not making us aware of this coupon code for the past few years, costing us hundreds of dollars!)

 I also found THIS article about the founders of the company to be interesting.

One final money saving thought for you.  Did you know that you can pay for prescriptions at most pharmacy with gift cards from the retail chain that houses the pharmacy?  Makes sense, but I have to admit that I hadn't thought of this previously.  As I have highlighted many times before on this blog, a great money-saving tip whenever you shop is using shopping portals (if you're shopping online - with my top resource being CashBackMonitor) and using discounted gift cards (whether you're shopping in a brick & mortar retailer or restaurant, or online -with my top resource being GiftCardWiki).  While you can likely buy prescription drugs online (not in the scope of this post), the relevant point here is buying discounted gift cards for stores like Walgreens or Rite Aid (IF they show up as the cheapest place to buy on GoodRx) to pay for your drugs.

For example, right now, you can buy Walgreens gift cards at rough 12% off face value and Rite Aid for a 20% discount!  When you stack that with the savings you find using GoodRx, the impact on your family budget (or at least ours!) could be significant!


  1. Nice post. I had heard of this service.
    BTW did you know Costco is the lowest priced pharmacy in the US, (inc animal meds) and you don't need to be a member to access their pharma service.
    Soren PDX

  2. Thanks, Soren. I have heard that Costco pharmacy has good prices. But factor in the savings I mention (especially at the bottom of my post), and it's possible you might be able to do better at Walgreens or Rite Aid on some things.

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