Trying to save money on prescription drug

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Abe
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Trying to save money on prescription drug

Post by Abe » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:39 pm

I have a condition where I am coughing and wheezing at night. My doctor prescribed a medication for me called Qvar inhaler. I purchased it at Walmart Pharmacy and it is working. It looks like I will have to continue taking this medication on a regular basis. The cost is $176.00 for 120 doses, and it is the cheapest I can find. I went to a Canadian pharmacy online and found the exact same medication (same name, same manufacturer) for around $43.00 for 200 doses. Since it looks like I may be taking this medication for the rest of my life, it would be a considerable savings to get it from a Canadian pharmacy.
My question is has anyone had any experience with this, any comments or recommendations?
Slow and steady wins the race.

markcoop
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Re: Trying to save money on prescription drug

Post by markcoop » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:44 pm

I don't have any experience but I am considering doing something similar. How did you pick a Canadian pharmacy online? Can you post the URL?

Thanks
Mark

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Abe
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Re: Trying to save money on prescription drug

Post by Abe » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:46 pm

markcoop wrote:I don't have any experience but I am considering doing something similar. How did you pick a Canadian pharmacy online? Can you post the URL?

Thanks
I just Googled, Canadian drugs online and several came up.
Edited to add: I don't know anything about it either. That's why I posted, to get some information.
Last edited by Abe on Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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General Disarray
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Re: Trying to save money on prescription drug

Post by General Disarray » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:47 pm

Asthma inhalers are super expensive and there often are no discounts. I had to switch to QVar recently also, because my health insurance company would no longer accept Flovent. I found that in terms of cost, it was cheapest to go through my health insurance. I originally called Costco, thinking Costco might have the best deal, but it was super expensive there. CVS, at least through my health insurance, charges $30 per inhaler, 120 dose, 40 mg. The mail order (through CVS Caremark) is cheaper IF you get a 90-day supply. You would need to tell your doctor to provide a 90-day prescription through mail order.

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lthenderson
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Re: Trying to save money on prescription drug

Post by lthenderson » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:55 pm

It is illegal under the Drug Marketing Act of 1987 for anyone but the original manufacturer to bring drugs into the United States. Here is an article on the subject.

https://www.elderlawanswers.com/buying- ... legal-1204

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Abe
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Re: Trying to save money on prescription drug

Post by Abe » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:57 pm

General Disarray wrote:Asthma inhalers are super expensive and there often are no discounts. I had to switch to QVar recently also, because my health insurance company would no longer accept Flovent. I found that in terms of cost, it was cheapest to go through my health insurance. I originally called Costco, thinking Costco might have the best deal, but it was super expensive there. CVS, at least through my health insurance, charges $30 per inhaler, 120 dose, 40 mg. The mail order (through CVS Caremark) is cheaper IF you get a 90-day supply. You would need to tell your doctor to provide a 90-day prescription through mail order.
My insurance, Humana, does not cover Qvar so I paid regular full price $176.00 at Walmart Pharmacy. Humana covers Flovent but the cost was over $300.00. I may check out CVS Caremark. If you are paying $30 per inhaler for 120 dose, 40 mg, that is exactly what I am getting at Walmart for $176.00.
Slow and steady wins the race.

BruDude
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Re: Trying to save money on prescription drug

Post by BruDude » Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:58 pm

I have ordered from Northwest Pharmacy and had a good experience with it, received actual brand name meds at a heavily discounted price vs US cost. https://www.northwestpharmacy.com/

rgnort
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Re: Trying to save money on prescription drug

Post by rgnort » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:09 pm

It would be odd to have a "covered" Rx cost more than the "not-covered" one. Are you on a high- deductible plan? If so, you're mostly out of luck, unless you do the Canada thing. If you have copays for other Rx's or Dr. visits, then you should check your Rx plan literature, to see if another inhaled corticosteroid is preferred, or on-formulary, at Humana.

Glomar
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Re: Trying to save money on prescription drug

Post by Glomar » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:10 pm

No experience with Canadian pharmacies, but it looks like the manufacturer offers a savings program:
http://www.qvar.com/savings.aspx
I'm sure there is fine print, but may be worth a try...

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Re: Trying to save money on prescription drug

Post by sport » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:15 pm

Glomar wrote:No experience with Canadian pharmacies, but it looks like the manufacturer offers a savings program:
http://www.qvar.com/savings.aspx
I'm sure there is fine print, but may be worth a try...
In my experience, such discount programs are not available to anyone on any governmental Rx program, including Medicare Part D.

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1210sda
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Re: Trying to save money on prescription drug

Post by 1210sda » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:24 pm

BruDude wrote:I have ordered from Northwest Pharmacy and had a good experience with it, received actual brand name meds at a heavily discounted price vs US cost. https://www.northwestpharmacy.com/
Thanks for the link.

How long have you been using this source?

1210

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Re: Trying to save money on prescription drug

Post by prudent » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:29 pm

Topic moved to Personal Consumer Issues.

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Pajamas
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Re: Trying to save money on prescription drug

Post by Pajamas » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:35 pm

Did you price the generic form?

You might also talk to your doctor about the appropriateness of prescribing a less expensive steroid inhaler if the generic is expensive.

If you have coverage for pharmaceuticals, get a copy of the formulary with coverage and copay information.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Trying to save money on prescription drug

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:48 pm

rgnort wrote:It would be odd to have a "covered" Rx cost more than the "not-covered" one. Are you on a high- deductible plan? If so, you're mostly out of luck, unless you do the Canada thing. If you have copays for other Rx's or Dr. visits, then you should check your Rx plan literature, to see if another inhaled corticosteroid is preferred, or on-formulary, at Humana.
It's not odd at all. Drug and insurance companies strike deals all the time. My insurance will cover Vario glucose test strips at no cost while Bayer Contour Next would not be covered at all. Buying either of these on the open market, the varios cost 4 to 5 times the Bayer. Are there kick backs involved? I would expect that absolutely, there probably are. My insurance plan tends to pick exactly one "thing" for any required medication. Novalog and Humalog are the same thing. My insurance covers one of them at a very low copay and does not cover the other at all. I expect the one who offered the biggest kickback won.
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BruDude
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Re: Trying to save money on prescription drug

Post by BruDude » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:48 pm

1210sda wrote:
BruDude wrote:I have ordered from Northwest Pharmacy and had a good experience with it, received actual brand name meds at a heavily discounted price vs US cost. https://www.northwestpharmacy.com/
Thanks for the link.

How long have you been using this source?

1210
I've ordered from them twice, but had heard good things about them from others before ordering too.

Jackson12
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Re: Trying to save money on prescription drug

Post by Jackson12 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:51 pm

Abe wrote:I have a condition where I am coughing and wheezing at night. My doctor prescribed a medication for me called Qvar inhaler. I purchased it at Walmart Pharmacy and it is working. It looks like I will have to continue taking this medication on a regular basis. The cost is $176.00 for 120 doses, and it is the cheapest I can find. I went to a Canadian pharmacy online and found the exact same medication (same name, same manufacturer) for around $43.00 for 200 doses. Since it looks like I may be taking this medication for the rest of my life, it would be a considerable savings to get it from a Canadian pharmacy.
My question is has anyone had any experience with this, any comments or recommendations?
My husband had a similar experience and he was able to find sn " off labrl" medication that worked well.,

Disclaimer: This is in NO way intended to be medical advice but only a suggestion to ask your doctor if this might be an option. Sometimes doctors don't realize the high costs of specific meds.

Also, while it isn't an option for you, we did find a medical assistance program which covered most of the costs of my husband's very expensive prescription. We found it ourselves. The doctor forgot to mention it or perhaps wasn' t aware of it,

Laren
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Re: Trying to save money on prescription drug

Post by Laren » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:53 pm

The trouble with a lot of the asthma inhaler medications right now is that there are no generics for them. Manufacturers had to change their inhalers to stop using CFCs as a propellant, and as a result got all new patents. So even an inhaler with just a boring steroid that's been around forever is suddenly "new" again with the new delivery system, and has a new patent that won't allow a generic for some years.

Many manufacturers do have programs to reduce the cost that are absolutely worth looking into, although it seems like most do not apply if you're on Medicare. Some government restriction, I assume. But, for example, the "Ellipta" inhalers have a program that applies with non-Medicare insurance, that makes your copay $10 a month for a year. For that one, you don't need to qualify on income or anything, it's just available. Others may have similar.

I'll be keeping an eye on this thread for ideas too.

SrGrumpy
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Re: Trying to save money on prescription drug

Post by SrGrumpy » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:55 pm

Not sure how motivated OP is to follow this method, but others with lifelong need for asthma inhalers might want to consider flying to Asia.

My doctor in the USA prescribed me Breo Ellipta 100/25- which costs about $340 for a 30-day supply. I went to Manila and bought five inhalers over the counter at a national pharmacy chain for about $22 each. I more than recouped the $500 airfare from LAX, instantly. Problem is I decided the medication risks - a lot of death - outweighed the benefits of my extremely mild condition, so I have these 5 boxes of gold gathering dust in a drawer.

Previous threads have discussed federal restrictions on drug importation. I had my prescription with me in case the CPB opened my bag.

I have also used Canadian pharmacies for mail-order meds, with no problems. Again, a trip across the border might also pay off.

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dm200
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Re: Trying to save money on prescription drug

Post by dm200 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:07 pm

Abe wrote:I have a condition where I am coughing and wheezing at night. My doctor prescribed a medication for me called Qvar inhaler. I purchased it at Walmart Pharmacy and it is working. It looks like I will have to continue taking this medication on a regular basis. The cost is $176.00 for 120 doses, and it is the cheapest I can find. I went to a Canadian pharmacy online and found the exact same medication (same name, same manufacturer) for around $43.00 for 200 doses. Since it looks like I may be taking this medication for the rest of my life, it would be a considerable savings to get it from a Canadian pharmacy.
My question is has anyone had any experience with this, any comments or recommendations?
No experience with this specifically, but longer term I would look for way(s), with lifestyle changes, to target the undelying cause(s) of the coughing and wheezing.

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heartwood
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Re: Trying to save money on prescription drug

Post by heartwood » Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:19 pm

Abe wrote:I have a condition where I am coughing and wheezing at night. My doctor prescribed a medication for me called Qvar inhaler. I purchased it at Walmart Pharmacy and it is working. It looks like I will have to continue taking this medication on a regular basis. The cost is $176.00 for 120 doses, and it is the cheapest I can find. I went to a Canadian pharmacy online and found the exact same medication (same name, same manufacturer) for around $43.00 for 200 doses. Since it looks like I may be taking this medication for the rest of my life, it would be a considerable savings to get it from a Canadian pharmacy.
My question is has anyone had any experience with this, any comments or recommendations?
No experience with inhalers but I've used Quality Prescription Drugs in Canada for several years.
Here's their page for qvar and a generic beclomethasone. https://www.qualityprescriptiondrugs.co ... earch/qvar

You don't mention your dosage. They list the branded 50 mcg 200 dose at $43.22 and the 100 mcg 200 dose at $55.00. Hmmm, their generic product lists as slightly more than the branded one.

They've charged me $9 shipping per order. They only take AMEX as a credit card, but do accept checks. It takes a few weeks to get through ordering, transmitting your prescription, they call you back to get the payment information. The order arrives a week or so later.

They're competent and friendly on the phone. There's an 800-number.

Mine while a generic comes in trade dress from a well known name manufacturer. Last time made in Canada, in previous orders from other names in different countries in Asia. Works fine for me. YMMV.

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Abe
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Re: Trying to save money on prescription drug

Post by Abe » Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:50 pm

Thanks everyone for all your help. I do appreciate it.
BruDude wrote:I have ordered from Northwest Pharmacy and had a good experience with it, received actual brand name meds at a heavily discounted price vs US cost. https://www.northwestpharmacy.com/
Thank you BruDude. This is the kind of information I'm looking for.
rgnort wrote:It would be odd to have a "covered" Rx cost more than the "not-covered" one. Are you on a high- deductible plan? If so, you're mostly out of luck, unless you do the Canada thing. If you have copays for other Rx's or Dr. visits, then you should check your Rx plan literature, to see if another inhaled corticosteroid is preferred, or on-formulary, at Humana.
I have Medicare Part D. My deductible is $400. I checked with Humana. The only other similar inhaler they cover is Flovent and it's over $300. Thanks
Pajamas wrote:Did you price the generic form?

You might also talk to your doctor about the appropriateness of prescribing a less expensive steroid inhaler if the generic is expensive.

If you have coverage for pharmaceuticals, get a copy of the formulary with coverage and copay information.
I couldn't find it in a generic. I have already talked to my doctor about a less expensive inhaler, but the Qvar has been the cheapest I've found so far, except for the Canadian Pharmacies.
dm200 wrote: No experience with this specifically, but longer term I would look for way(s), with lifestyle changes, to target the underlying cause(s) of the coughing and wheezing.
Thanks, I have looked in this, but so far I have not been able to determine what caused this. I don't smoke and I'm not around any kind of strong chemicals. I thought maybe I may be allergic to something. but so far I have not been able to find anything I'm allergic to that might have caused it.
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dm200
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Re: Trying to save money on prescription drug

Post by dm200 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:58 pm

dm200 wrote:
No experience with this specifically, but longer term I would look for way(s), with lifestyle changes, to target the underlying cause(s) of the coughing and wheezing.

Thanks, I have looked in this, but so far I have not been able to determine what caused this. I don't smoke and I'm not around any kind of strong chemicals. I thought maybe I may be allergic to something. but so far I have not been able to find anything I'm allergic to that might have caused it.
Without getting deep into the weeds of prohibited medical issues, my experience as well as many things I read is that most Physicians look for solving such problems with medication. While my Physicians have been cooperative, none initiated my changes in lifestyle to stop taking blood pressure and cholesterol medication - after being on them for many years. Keep looking - it is much better, in many ways, to prevent such problems than "solve" them with drugs.

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Pajamas
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Re: Trying to save money on prescription drug

Post by Pajamas » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:07 pm

Abe wrote:
I couldn't find it in a generic. I have already talked to my doctor about a less expensive inhaler, but the Qvar has been the cheapest I've found so far, except for the Canadian Pharmacies.
QNASL is a generic equivalent, but it appears to be only about 10% less expensive than QVAR in my zip code. Might be a lot less from a Canadian pharmacy, though. If you go that route, check on it. Teva is the manufacturer, a large and well-known generic pharmaceutical company.

http://www.verusmed.com/articles/view/68573/

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Re: Trying to save money on prescription drug

Post by Sparky1500 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:33 pm

BruDude wrote:I have ordered from Northwest Pharmacy and had a good experience with it, received actual brand name meds at a heavily discounted price vs US cost. https://www.northwestpharmacy.com/
+1 I have done the same and would highly recommend

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Re: Trying to save money on prescription drug

Post by Ged » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:48 pm

Abe wrote: I have Medicare Part D. My deductible is $400. I checked with Humana. The only other similar inhaler they cover is Flovent and it's over $300. Thanks
When it comes time to renew your Medicare Part D coverage you might consider looking for a plan that has more favorable coverage for your inhaler.

Some plans listed on this page seem to offer lower copays.

https://www.goodrx.com/qvar/medicare-coverage

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Abe
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Re: Trying to save money on prescription drug

Post by Abe » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:57 pm

Thanks everyone for all your help. I'm getting a lot of good information.
Slow and steady wins the race.

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Watty
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Re: Trying to save money on prescription drug

Post by Watty » Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:02 pm

There have been a number of threads about Canadian Pharmacies that you can find by using the search in the top right corner of the screen.

https://www.google.com/search?sitesearc ... +pharmancy

Here is an examples.

viewtopic.php?t=184914

We have used;

http://www.onlinecanadianpharmacy.com/

And have very satisfied with them. One quirk is that they only take American Express.

As others have mentioned you need to do your research since a lot of "Canadian Pharmacies" are either scams or actually ship out of other countries.

One issue to consider is if you live in a very hot or cold area then the temperature control could be an issue.

integrity
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Re: Trying to save money on prescription drug

Post by integrity » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:58 pm

You may wish to ask your doctor about using a nebulizer rather than an inhaler. Albuterol is available in generic form for nebulizer.

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/ ... roduct.cfm (type "albuterol" into the search bar).

As others have mentioned, it is really frustrating that no inhaled corticosteroids are currently available as generics.

Ruger
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Re: Trying to save money on prescription drug

Post by Ruger » Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:32 pm

I have ordered from both Canadian and Israeli pharmacies. The prices were much less, and service was good.

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