Page 1 of 1

drugstore prices

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:47 am
by jefmafnl
We (Americans) have been living in Europe for many years and are making one of our trips to the US to visit family.

If we don't have a card for Costco or Sam's Club or another membership club, is there a "best place to shop" for drugstore items?
Or are the price levels at Target, Walgreens, CVS, etc. all about the same?

Thanks!

J

Re: drugstore prices

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:52 am
by jebmke
Find a commercial area where several are nearby. I have found prices vary a lot. Walmart is often but not always the best in our area (we have no Cosco). I lived in EU for quite a while and coming back to US pharma model was a disappointment.

Re: drugstore prices

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:54 am
by Flobes
jefmafnl wrote: Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:47 am we don't have a card for Costco
Costco pharmacy is available to non-members for filling prescriptions.
jefmafnl wrote: Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:47 am is there a "best place to shop" for drugstore items?
If by drugstore items you mean misc toiletries, first aid, over-the-counter medications, then you can buy them anywhere, even the supermarket. What's "best" is what's convenient, and that depends on where you are.

Re: drugstore prices

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:28 am
by quantAndHold
If you have a family member or friend with a Costco membership, you can get them to buy you a Costco gift card, then you can go to Costco. Or else just have them take you. Costco takes Visa cards. They show their membership card, then you pay with your credit card.

If you’re just getting stuff for a short period of time, the quantities you have to buy in Costco will be too much. Just go to any of the places you mentioned. None of them is consistently cheaper than the others for all items.

Re: drugstore prices

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:14 am
by sport
In my experience, CVS, Walgreens, and grocery stores are likely to be the most expensive. Walmart and Target should be better. In my area we have two discount drug chains that would be better choices. We have "Marc's" and "Discount Drug Mart" in the Cleveland area. If you have something similar in your locale, that would be my choice. The Costco suggestions above are also good.

Re: drugstore prices

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:15 am
by anon_investor
Target often has good prices, especially if you look for sales or use the coupons in their "Cartwheel" portion of the Target phone app.

Re: drugstore prices

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:16 am
by Limoncello402
In my area, Target or Walmart can be significantly less expensive for such items than drugstores.

Re: drugstore prices

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:21 am
by Housedoc
Avoid CVS, price shop at least. CVS priced a med at $46 with insurance company at 50pct, Sam's club had same med, same insurance at $17.56

Re: drugstore prices

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:22 am
by Housedoc
Sam's Club and Costco are required to sell to you without a membership. Medication that is....

Re: drugstore prices

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:30 am
by ResearchMed
Housedoc wrote: Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:21 am Avoid CVS, price shop at least. CVS priced a med at $46 with insurance company at 50pct, Sam's club had same med, same insurance at $17.56
Doesn't the insurance set the price for a specific med?

As long as we are able to use insurance (and it's rare that we cannot), we'd pay the same no matter which pharmacy/etc., we chose. It might depend upon the "tier" of the med on the insurer's formulary, but that would be the same for the same med, at any of the pharmacies dispensing it.

(There is a slightly lower cost, *some* times, if we use mail order for 3 months. But increasingly, CVS just gives us that same 3 month supply for that same slight discount. We noticed this a while ago. No need for the "mail order" part if we didn't want to do that.)

RM

Re: drugstore prices

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:25 pm
by sport
ResearchMed wrote: Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:30 am
Housedoc wrote: Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:21 am Avoid CVS, price shop at least. CVS priced a med at $46 with insurance company at 50pct, Sam's club had same med, same insurance at $17.56
Doesn't the insurance set the price for a specific med?

As long as we are able to use insurance (and it's rare that we cannot), we'd pay the same no matter which pharmacy/etc., we chose. It might depend upon the "tier" of the med on the insurer's formulary, but that would be the same for the same med, at any of the pharmacies dispensing it.

(There is a slightly lower cost, *some* times, if we use mail order for 3 months. But increasingly, CVS just gives us that same 3 month supply for that same slight discount. We noticed this a while ago. No need for the "mail order" part if we didn't want to do that.)

RM
Our insurance has 3 tiers for pharmacies.
1. In network, preferred.
2. In network
3. Out of network.
The prices are different for each tier. Mail order would be a fourth choice.

Re: drugstore prices

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:27 pm
by ResearchMed
sport wrote: Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:25 pm
ResearchMed wrote: Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:30 am
Housedoc wrote: Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:21 am Avoid CVS, price shop at least. CVS priced a med at $46 with insurance company at 50pct, Sam's club had same med, same insurance at $17.56
Doesn't the insurance set the price for a specific med?

As long as we are able to use insurance (and it's rare that we cannot), we'd pay the same no matter which pharmacy/etc., we chose. It might depend upon the "tier" of the med on the insurer's formulary, but that would be the same for the same med, at any of the pharmacies dispensing it.

(There is a slightly lower cost, *some* times, if we use mail order for 3 months. But increasingly, CVS just gives us that same 3 month supply for that same slight discount. We noticed this a while ago. No need for the "mail order" part if we didn't want to do that.)

RM
Our insurance has 3 tiers for pharmacies.
1. In network, preferred.
2. In network
3. Out of network.
The prices are different for each tier. Mail order would be a fourth choice.
Is this what housedoc was referring to? I also mentioned tiers, and it doesn't seem to be what housedoc is describing.

Does your insurance handle the *same* med in different ways, with different pricing, depending upon whether you use, say, CVS or Walgreens?

??

RM

Re: drugstore prices

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:35 pm
by dm200
My wife gets such things by looking for bargains/coupons,etc. at CVS and Walmart.

Re: drugstore prices

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:12 pm
by batpot
You could try https://www.goodrx.com
The prices can very widely from one place to the next. Costco isn't always cheapest.

Re: drugstore prices

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:17 pm
by sport
ResearchMed wrote: Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:27 pm Does your insurance handle the *same* med in different ways, with different pricing, depending upon whether you use, say, CVS or Walgreens?
Yes. Walgreens is "out of network", CVS is in network, but not preferred, and Rite Aid is in network preferred. In network but not preferred costs an additional $10 per prescription and refill.

Re: drugstore prices

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:22 pm
by Lalamimi
They did not ask about medications, they are looking for lower priced drugstore items.

Re: drugstore prices

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 2:22 pm
by Housedoc
Well heck, never buy drugstore items in a drugstore. Walmart Target or Amazon if no access to Sam's or Costco

Re: drugstore prices

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 2:25 pm
by dm200
Lalamimi wrote: Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:22 pm They did not ask about medications, they are looking for lower priced drugstore items.
Right.

Re: drugstore prices

Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:25 pm
by sawhorse
If it's just a trip, Costco will be way way too much because they sell items in huge packages. Cotton swabs, for example, are something like 1200 in a package.

Target and Walmart are usually the cheapest. CVS and Walgreens are about the same and might be more convenient because they have more locations. Most grocery stores also sell toiletries but with a smaller selection.

Re: drugstore prices

Posted: Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:58 am
by SrGrumpy
In my 'hood, these CVS, Rite-Aid, etc. joints are rinky-dink operations with long lines of dubious folks waiting patiently for one bored cashier. Stick to Target et al.

Re: drugstore prices

Posted: Fri Jul 05, 2019 10:36 am
by StevieG72
batpot wrote: Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:12 pm You could try https://www.goodrx.com
The prices can very widely from one place to the next. Costco isn't always cheapest.
+1

I found Kroger to be the best place for my medications by using GoodRx. I joined their prescription savings club and can get 3 months scripts for next to nothing. It is cheaper to use the Kroger savings plan than going through my insurance. My insurance had me limited to one month refills which was inconvenient.