Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

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carolinaman
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Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by carolinaman » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:18 pm

Our retiree insurance changed in 2018 and now one of my meds is no longer covered. My Google research showed several websites that promise to offer discounts. One of those that seemed promising is Goodrx although their reviews seem mixed. They provide coupons that major drug retailers supposedly honor at significant discounts. In my case it would reduce the cost for a 30 day supply from $280 to $183.

Do any forum members use Goodrx or other means to buy prescriptions at lower prices than retail prices? I appreciate any information you can provide.
Thanks

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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by Mel Lindauer » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:22 pm

carolinaman wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:18 pm
Our retiree insurance changed in 2018 and now one of my meds is no longer covered. My Google research showed several websites that promise to offer discounts. One of those that seemed promising is Goodrx although their reviews seem mixed. They provide coupons that major drug retailers supposedly honor at significant discounts. In my case it would reduce the cost for a 30 day supply from $280 to $183.

Do any forum members use Goodrx or other means to buy prescriptions at lower prices than retail prices? I appreciate any information you can provide.
Thanks
I just started using GoodRx and had a good experience using their recommendation to use Walmart for a 90-day supply of one of my drugs. I did so and got it for $3. I'll continue to compare their costs with my Part D coverage and use whichever provides the lowest cost for the same drug.
Best Regards - Mel | | Semper Fi

KlangFool
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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by KlangFool » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:24 pm

carolinaman wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:18 pm
Our retiree insurance changed in 2018 and now one of my meds is no longer covered. My Google research showed several websites that promise to offer discounts. One of those that seemed promising is Goodrx although their reviews seem mixed. They provide coupons that major drug retailers supposedly honor at significant discounts. In my case it would reduce the cost for a 30 day supply from $280 to $183.

Do any forum members use Goodrx or other means to buy prescriptions at lower prices than retail prices? I appreciate any information you can provide.
Thanks
carolinaman,

I use Goodrx. It works. Sometimes, it is cheaper than getting the prescription through my employer's insurance.

<<In my case it would reduce the cost for a 30 day supply from $280 to $183.>>

1) You should check the 90 days supply and generic price.

2) You should ask your pharmacist for alternatives. For my eye drops, my doctor's prescription cost $100 per month. My pharmacist recommends an alternative that cost $10 for 3 months supply. It works as well except I need to apply the eye drops twice per day.

KlangFool

anil686
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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by anil686 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:30 pm

Hi - I have not used these services but am a physician and have helped patients with them. Goodrx provides a service in which they offer a discounted price accompanied by a barcode (if there is a discount provided by them) - which I assume is an offset to the cash price probably from the generic or brand manufacturer to the pharmacy. Otherwise, it just gives the cash pay price which is often hard to find itself without calling the pharmacy and asking.

Costco also lists many of their generics online in the pharmacy section. Note - in most states you do not have to be a member of the clubs to use a club’s pharmacy - like Sam’s or Costco. That is also a valuable resource and they offer mail order as well.

If you meet income criteria - there are often organizations setup to help patch you in with either the drug manufacturers or generic manufacturers to get reduced prices or free medications. They are often setup here in Texas with the county - and are part of the Health services outreach program. This may not apply to you and thus may not be of help.

Some places, like Walmart, sell their own version of 70/30 insulin at a reduced cost - it is not as fancy or modern as the newer insulins (especially the long acting) - but is certainly cheaper.

If your medicine is a speciality medication - it never hurts to check out the manufacturer website (especially if there is no generic). Some will provide assistance based again on income levels.

Hope this helps - but those are the things I thought of right off the bat...

Katietsu
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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by Katietsu » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:37 pm

First of all, have you exhausted all means to have it covered by insurance. And have you spoken to your physician about this change? Often there is an alternative medication, sometimes that works better, that is covered. The physician may also be able request insurance coverage of a medication otherwise not covered that involves documenting medical necessity.

Assuming none of these are options, have you called local pharmacies? Prices can surprisingly vary widely. Make sure you check places like Costco which frequently had the lowest prices back when I was shopping for prescriptions. I was always able to find a better price than GoodRx so I never used them. On the other hand, when my local pharmacy closed and transferred a prescription to Walgreens, their price on that particular med was triple.

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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by neilpilot » Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:53 pm

With a 2018 change in my Part D formulary, one of my maintenance meds went from $4/mo to $98/mo. After running it by my physician I ordered 3 months supply thru a "Canadian Pharmacy" for about $15/mo. I use quotes since in many cases they are taking your order in Canada but sourcing from another country.

I did my homework, knew the Indian manufacturer, and was satisfied that their generic of this specific med was good quality. BTW that $15/mo is about 3 times the retail price in India.

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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by carolinaman » Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:35 pm

neilpilot wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:53 pm
With a 2018 change in my Part D formulary, one of my maintenance meds went from $4/mo to $98/mo. After running it by my physician I ordered 3 months supply thru a "Canadian Pharmacy" for about $15/mo. I use quotes since in many cases they are taking your order in Canada but sourcing from another country.

I did my homework, knew the Indian manufacturer, and was satisfied that their generic of this specific med was good quality. BTW that $15/mo is about 3 times the retail price in India.
Thanks neilpilot. How do you get your drugs from Canada? I thought you have to actually go to Canada to buy prescriptions. My understanding is it cannot be done through the mail. Am I wrong on that?

carolinaman
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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by carolinaman » Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:47 pm

Thanks for all of your replies so far.

Insurance decision is final. No appeal can be done.

I have appt next week with my doctor to discuss options. There is no generic for the specific drug I take. I tried several others before taking this premium drug, so not sure there will be any other drug options. It is dealing with a pre cancerous condition and other symptoms, so I need to be sure whatever I take works, regardless of the price.

I will look into 90 day supply and will contact drug stores. So far, I only used a website that claims to show best drug prices in my area.

This is not a hardship on me but I do not like going from $20 a month to $280. Hopefully, I can get a more Boglehead like price for whatever I wind up with.

I am glad to know Goodrx works. I intend to go to my drugstore this week and discuss pricing, Goodrx, etc. with pharmacist. Also, drug mfr offers $55 discount, so that will help.

Thanks again.

jeff1949
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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by jeff1949 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:52 pm

Like others above I have had good luck with both GoodRx and with Costco. I have also used several Canadian Pharmacies by going to their websites (no, you do not have to travel to Canada).

Here is another resource that has helped me as well:

https://www.pharmacychecker.com/

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SWBoarder
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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by SWBoarder » Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:18 pm

My physician gave me the name of this Canadian pharmacy and it has worked out well for a variety of drugs.
https://www.northwestpharmacy.com/

It is a murky world. Recently I went through 3 copies of a prescription. I initially filled it at my local Costco using my insurance, then did some research and found out Costco Online 90 day supply cash price was a better deal, then later found out the Canadian price was significant savings.

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Watty
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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by Watty » Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:58 pm

We have been using this one for a prescription and it is shipped out of Canada without any problems.

https://www.onlinecanadianpharmacy.com/

It would be good to check with any company to make sure that it will actually be shipped out of the country you are expecting.

There have been a number of threads on Canadian Pharmacies that you can look up

Be sure to also check the 90 day price, in the US or Canada since it may not be as much as you might think.

Some, but not all, pills can be split and I have seen drugs where the 50 or 100mg pill was virtually the same price as a 25mg pill.
Last edited by Watty on Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:27 pm

SWBoarder wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:18 pm
My physician gave me the name of this Canadian pharmacy and it has worked out well for a variety of drugs.
https://www.northwestpharmacy.com/

It is a murky world. Recently I went through 3 copies of a prescription. I initially filled it at my local Costco using my insurance, then did some research and found out Costco Online 90 day supply cash price was a better deal, then later found out the Canadian price was significant savings.
Wow, i have twp prescriptions which are extremely expensive. The Canadian prices are affordable.

James123
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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by James123 » Wed Jan 10, 2018 11:38 pm

We have had good experience with Walmart & Costco. Most commonly used medication are significantly cheaper that other chain pharmacies.
Warm regards, | James

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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by Sandi_k » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:23 am

Walmart, Costco, and Target/CVS.

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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by mouses » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:34 am

Watty wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 10:58 pm
We have been using this one for a prescription and it is shipped out of Canada without any problems.

https://www.onlinecanadianpharmacy.com/

It would be good to check with any company to make sure that it will actually be shipped out of the country you are expecting.

There have been a number of threads on Canadian Pharmacies that you can look up

Be sure to also check the 90 day price, in the US or Canada since it may not be as much as you might think.

Some, but not all, pills can be split and I have seen drugs where the 50 or 100mg pill was virtually the same price as a 25mg pill.
I use this place as well. You can ask where the meds will come from and usually have a choice of countries including the UK often.

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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by madbrain » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:34 am

I thought Congress had made it illegal to buy and bring prescription drugs from outside the country. Am I wrong?

neilpilot
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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by neilpilot » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:00 am

madbrain wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:34 am
I thought Congress had made it illegal to buy and bring prescription drugs from outside the country. Am I wrong?
Sure, and Pot is also illegal in the US.

jminv
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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by jminv » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:40 am

Inside the USA, Sam's Club is the cheapest, followed by Costco.

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dm200
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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by dm200 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:57 am

carolinaman wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:18 pm
Our retiree insurance changed in 2018 and now one of my meds is no longer covered. My Google research showed several websites that promise to offer discounts. One of those that seemed promising is Goodrx although their reviews seem mixed. They provide coupons that major drug retailers supposedly honor at significant discounts. In my case it would reduce the cost for a 30 day supply from $280 to $183.
Do any forum members use Goodrx or other means to buy prescriptions at lower prices than retail prices? I appreciate any information you can provide.
Thanks
Does your prescribing physician and/or the insurance plan offer or suggest an equivalent (for your condition) drug? In several cases, over the years, there have been medically equivalent prescription drugs for the applicable condition on the insurance plan formulary.

stan1
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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by stan1 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:08 am

carolinaman wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:47 pm
There is no generic for the specific drug I take. I tried several others before taking this premium drug, so not sure there will be any other drug options.
Check the pharmaceutical company's website to see if there is a financial assistance program. Sometimes they have registered a URL with the name of the drug. Try "google drugname copay assistance" and that should get you started. These programs are not always heavily advertised by the drug company (for obvious reasons). If the drug is not commonly covered by insurance there very well may be some sort of assistance offered. Some of the assistance programs are not income based. Worth a try although the Canadian pharmacy may be a lower cost option.

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Watty
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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by Watty » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:43 am

madbrain wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:34 am
I thought Congress had made it illegal to buy and bring prescription drugs from outside the country. Am I wrong?
I am not a lawyer but this is a more complicated than it sounds.

This is my understanding.

If someone was physically traveling from Canada, like a Canadian Tourist, business person, or an American returning from a trip then they there are set rules where people can travel with prescription drugs with them going in the border in either direction. As I recall the rules are basically;
1) An approved drug in the US, i.e not expermental
2) Not a controlled class of drug like a narcotic
3) No more than a 90 day supply.
4) In a labeled bottle.

There would of course be all sorts of other detailed situations and rules like for when something is an OTC drug in Canada but a prescription drug in the US.

I have travelled across borders with prescription drugs like this and have never had a problem.

At one point in the border states there were tour buses which would drive mostly seniors across the border to get their prescriptions then return with them. People in the Southwest would often do the same thing and travel to Mexico but the pharmacies were less reliable there.

Pictures of on drug tour busses like these were common on the evening news and pretty embarrassing to everyone involved when it was showing some 80 year old semi-confused grandmother using a walker hobbling off a bus because that was the only way she could afford her medicine. This was also before Medicare provided any drug coverage so seniors not being able to afford their medicine was common.

As I recall there was even a case on TV where a congressman's parents were doing this.

The current situation is pretty much that mail order prescriptions fall under "enforcement discretion" and are not stopped if they are for personal use and could have been carried with a person if they were traveling with the prescription.

The packages I have received from Canada were marked with something like "Personal use prescription" on the customs form so it is not like they are hiding it.

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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by dm200 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:59 am

carolinaman wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:47 pm
Thanks for all of your replies so far.
Insurance decision is final. No appeal can be done.
I have appt next week with my doctor to discuss options. There is no generic for the specific drug I take. I tried several others before taking this premium drug, so not sure there will be any other drug options. It is dealing with a pre cancerous condition and other symptoms, so I need to be sure whatever I take works, regardless of the price.
I will look into 90 day supply and will contact drug stores. So far, I only used a website that claims to show best drug prices in my area.
This is not a hardship on me but I do not like going from $20 a month to $280. Hopefully, I can get a more Boglehead like price for whatever I wind up with.
I am glad to know Goodrx works. I intend to go to my drugstore this week and discuss pricing, Goodrx, etc. with pharmacist. Also, drug mfr offers $55 discount, so that will help.
Thanks again.
I would discuss other drug options with physician. From what I understand (and have experienced once), usually when a specific drug is not on a plan formulary, it is because there are as good alternatives (not necessarily generics).

Dottie57
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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by Dottie57 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:40 am

dm200 wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:59 am
carolinaman wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:47 pm
Thanks for all of your replies so far.
Insurance decision is final. No appeal can be done.
I have appt next week with my doctor to discuss options. There is no generic for the specific drug I take. I tried several others before taking this premium drug, so not sure there will be any other drug options. It is dealing with a pre cancerous condition and other symptoms, so I need to be sure whatever I take works, regardless of the price.
I will look into 90 day supply and will contact drug stores. So far, I only used a website that claims to show best drug prices in my area.
This is not a hardship on me but I do not like going from $20 a month to $280. Hopefully, I can get a more Boglehead like price for whatever I wind up with.
I am glad to know Goodrx works. I intend to go to my drugstore this week and discuss pricing, Goodrx, etc. with pharmacist. Also, drug mfr offers $55 discount, so that will help.
Thanks again.
I would discuss other drug options with physician. From what I understand (and have experienced once), usually when a specific drug is not on a plan formulary, it is because there are as good alternatives (not necessarily generics).
Not necessarily true. In 2001 I had a cornea transplant. Restasis is the eyedrop of choice and there is no generic. I have checked multiple places including the healthplan. I can get the drug at retail, but it would cost over 4k per year. At one of the links above , I found it for less than 1k per year.

I've asked pharmacists, opthamologists and others for an alternative, but no go.

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dm200
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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by dm200 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:27 am

Not necessarily true. In 2001 I had a cornea transplant. Restasis is the eyedrop of choice and there is no generic. I have checked multiple places including the healthplan. I can get the drug at retail, but it would cost over 4k per year. At one of the links above , I found it for less than 1k per year.

I've asked pharmacists, opthamologists and others for an alternative, but no go.
OK - just relating one of my experiences as well as much of what I have seen in some plans.

carolinaman
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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by carolinaman » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:32 pm

dm200 wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:57 am
carolinaman wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:18 pm
Our retiree insurance changed in 2018 and now one of my meds is no longer covered. My Google research showed several websites that promise to offer discounts. One of those that seemed promising is Goodrx although their reviews seem mixed. They provide coupons that major drug retailers supposedly honor at significant discounts. In my case it would reduce the cost for a 30 day supply from $280 to $183.
Do any forum members use Goodrx or other means to buy prescriptions at lower prices than retail prices? I appreciate any information you can provide.
Thanks
Does your prescribing physician and/or the insurance plan offer or suggest an equivalent (for your condition) drug? In several cases, over the years, there have been medically equivalent prescription drugs for the applicable condition on the insurance plan formulary.
The drug is Dexilant, a premium PPI for GERD. The drug plan dropped all PPIs because there are now OTC PPIs available which is true, but the OTC ones are lower dosage than I need. There is no generic or OTC for Dexilant. I have appt next week with my doctor to discuss options.

I have been told that many insurance plans are doing this so it may be a common problem as PPIs are widely used.

c1over8
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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by c1over8 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:08 pm

I have used goodrx and like it. Super easy - print off the coupon/discount, hand it to the pharmacist, and viola. I've never been asked any questions or had any push back. The prices on goodrx do change periodically. A medicine that I first had filled last fall is now showing $6.67 (~17%) more expensive at the same store on goodrx, but the pharmacy is still processing my refills at the lower price based on the coupon/discount I initially provided. So keep checking the prices there in case the opposite happens and the price goes down before a refill.
Katietsu wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:37 pm
First of all, have you exhausted all means to have it covered by insurance. And have you spoken to your physician about this change? Often there is an alternative medication, sometimes that works better, that is covered. The physician may also be able request insurance coverage of a medication otherwise not covered that involves documenting medical necessity.
If the pharmacist says insurance won't cover a drug and you want to try to get it covered as medically necessary, is the process initiated through the pharmacist, through your doctor, or contacting your insurance yourself? Do you know if the process is successful whether the insurance company will reimburse if you had to pay out of pocket in the interim?

Katietsu
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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by Katietsu » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:24 pm

c1over8 wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:08 pm
I have used goodrx and like it. Super easy - print off the coupon/discount, hand it to the pharmacist, and viola. I've never been asked any questions or had any push back. The prices on goodrx do change periodically. A medicine that I first had filled last fall is now showing $6.67 (~17%) more expensive at the same store on goodrx, but the pharmacy is still processing my refills at the lower price based on the coupon/discount I initially provided. So keep checking the prices there in case the opposite happens and the price goes down before a refill.
Katietsu wrote:
Wed Jan 10, 2018 4:37 pm
First of all, have you exhausted all means to have it covered by insurance. And have you spoken to your physician about this change? Often there is an alternative medication, sometimes that works better, that is covered. The physician may also be able request insurance coverage of a medication otherwise not covered that involves documenting medical necessity.
If the pharmacist says insurance won't cover a drug and you want to try to get it covered as medically necessary, is the process initiated through the pharmacist, through your doctor, or contacting your insurance yourself? Do you know if the process is successful whether the insurance company will reimburse if you had to pay out of pocket in the interim?
I suspect this differs between insurers and the situation. In my case, the insurer contracts with a prescription management company. (A pharmacist friend of mine actually works for one of these companies and basically sits in her sweat pants taking calls from the insured, from pharmacists and from doctors from 3 to 11.)

The first step should always be to speak with your doctor to make sure that there is not a covered drug that would be adequate. Sometimes, the pharmacist can call the doctor for you and get the new prescription if there is an obvious alternative. (Think Coke for Pepsi.) Otherwise, I would next call the insurer or prescription management company, explain the situation, and find out your options. The physician will likely need to be involved in documenting the need. I doubt they would reimburse you for expenses you have already incurred but I have no experience with this.
Last edited by Katietsu on Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

HIinvestor
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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by HIinvestor » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:25 pm

I know many patients who get their medications from India, AllDayChemist.com. If they only order a 90 day or 180 day supply for personal use it is not confiscated. If it does get confiscated they let AllDayChemist.com know and are sent a new shipment. I ordered from them once because Zyrtec was very expensive in pill form from my insurer—more than $.10/pill. From the online pharmacy it was $.01 or $.001/pill. It arrived fairly promptly and the Zyrtec seemed the same as always.

Some friends have been buying from them for ever a decade.

Some other Proton Pump Inhibitors I have been prescribed and taken are Prilosec and Nexium. They are covered by my insurer. When I get a 90 day supply, the Prilosec is free. The Nexium has a copay. Our pharmacist is willing to run our prescriptions several different times and ways so we pay the lowest possible copays. If we get these meds via prescription, they are covered by our drug plan. If we buy over the counter, they are NOT covered. Same with Rantinidine/ Zantac.

Good luck. Hope you find a solution that addresses your situation in a way that works for you.

Dasnyc
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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by Dasnyc » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:36 pm

I have used GoodRx once :happy. Saved over $60 on a $124 prescription.

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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by neilpilot » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:53 pm

Dasnyc wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:36 pm
I have used GoodRx once :happy. Saved over $60 on a $124 prescription.
Of course your results may vary. In my case, for generic Actonel, in 2017 using Part D coverage I was paying about $2/mo. With the 2018 formulary, using Part D it would have cost me $94/mo. Based on that increase, I checked GoodRx.

Using GoodRx the best price I could find was $61/mo. I ended up ordering from a Canadian Pharm at a cost of $22/mo.

Liberty1100
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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by Liberty1100 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:55 pm

If you already have AAA, check out their prescription discount card. I believe it is free as part of the membership. (side note: they have discount for turbotax too)

CT-Scott
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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by CT-Scott » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:12 pm

Some more info about GoodRx:

I have an HDHP/HSA and have used GoodRx to fill prescriptions several times. There is a GoodRx mobile app for the iPhone (and, I'd imagine, Android). So, if you're at your doctor's office and they're writing up a prescription for you, you can even check right there and then to see what it might end up costing you and if there are Generic equivalents. You may find that the cost is steep and then ask your doctor if there are other alternatives.

The app will show you a list of places, how far away they are, etc., and typically includes CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, etc. At the pharmacist, you can hand your phone over to them. No need to print anything out.

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong on this, but it's my understanding that when you use GoodRx, it's like you're bypassing your own health provider's coverage. It's possible that, for some medications, your regular health coverage could have a better agreed-on price than what GoodRx can get you. So, I will sometimes ask my pharmacist to "process the Rx" using both GoodRx and my regular insurance to see which has the better price.

Also, per my understanding of GoodRx prescriptions not going through your own insurance, I believe this also means that the cost of any prescriptions you fill through GoodRx will *not* be applied towards your Deductible or OOP Max. So if the savings are minimal, you may want to use your own health coverage to fill the Rx. In my case, my wife hits her deductible pretty quickly in the year and then starts paying a copay for prescriptions, so I usually advise her to just process her prescriptions through our regular health coverage. For me and my daughter, we are unlikely to hit our deductible, so I usually use GoodRx when filling prescriptions for the two of us.

One other aspect to using GoodRx, per my understanding, is that since you're effectively "using GoodRx's prescription coverage", the company behind GoodRx knows/keeps your prescription-filling history. What they do with that information, I have no idea. That's not something I'm concerned about, but some people might be.

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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by Ruger » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:31 pm

I buy my prescriptions at WalMart. They have a discount program for those who don't have their meds covered by insurance. I don't remember the exact savings, but it saved me a lot of $$$$.

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dm200
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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by dm200 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:09 pm

Ruger wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:31 pm
I buy my prescriptions at WalMart. They have a discount program for those who don't have their meds covered by insurance. I don't remember the exact savings, but it saved me a lot of $$$$.
A friend of ours takes several prescription drugs and, to save money, she gets them at several different pharmacies - wherever she gets the lowest price. She gets one of them at Walmart. She has Medicare, but says she saves by going different places.

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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:29 pm

To those asking about the legality of using Canadian drugs in the US:

From my post here: Subject: Online Canadian Pharmacy
LadyGeek wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 11:13 pm
The import is illegal, but not enforced under certain circumstances. See:

- Laws Governing Online Pharmacies
- How Do I Know If An Online Pharmacy Is Legitimate?
- Information for Consumers (Drugs) > Imported Drugs Raise Safety Concerns
As long as the discussion is within the legal framework described in Using Canadian Pharmacies, this discussion can continue.
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GreenGrowTheDollars
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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by GreenGrowTheDollars » Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:41 pm

Restasis has a copy card that can be used AFTER your regular insurance: https://www.restasis.com/savings-and-su ... ngs/enroll

(It does not work if you are on Medicare or Medicaid.)

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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by mouses » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:25 am

CT-Scott wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:12 pm
One other aspect to using GoodRx, per my understanding, is that since you're effectively "using GoodRx's prescription coverage", the company behind GoodRx knows/keeps your prescription-filling history. What they do with that information, I have no idea. That's not something I'm concerned about, but some people might be.
My Plan D, with my okay, notifies my doctor's office when I have a prescription filled. What else they do with the information, I have no idea. I am not getting postal ads or email ads related to the meds I use.

I have approval for a med from my Plan D that is astonishingly expensive, considering it has been around for years. The price has just been going up and up into the stratosphere. Of course it costs me more as they move it into upper tiers, but it is unbelievable what it is costing them.

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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by niceguy7376 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:23 am

CT-Scott wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:12 pm
Also, per my understanding of GoodRx prescriptions not going through your own insurance, I believe this also means that the cost of any prescriptions you fill through GoodRx will *not* be applied towards your Deductible or OOP Max.
What will happen if you use good rx to get the price discount but use your HSA debit card to make the payment? Would it be a bit better ?

LifeIsGood
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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by LifeIsGood » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:17 am

Do a prescription filled via Goodrx count towards your Part D deductible?

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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by Propertytax » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:26 am

Hey, pharmacist here.

Dexilant is cool because it has a biphasic controlled relase mechanism. [OT comments removed by admin LadyGeek]

Unfortunately and in general PPIs aren't the cheapest...even as generics. Theyre all controlled release and that pharm engineering tends to make drugs expensive.

Definitely discuss the other options/ dosing schedules with doctor. You'll find something more affordable. I'd maybe call around to try to get cash prices at independent pharmacies. These guys are the most likely to cut you a deal because they have control over their business. While a lot of PPIs are OTC, the higher doses are still Rx only. You may save money with an rx. I'd ask cash prices on generic omeprazole, protonix, nexium, aciphex, and dexilant at their highest doses

[OT comments removed by admin LadyGeek]
Last edited by Propertytax on Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by madbrain » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:33 am

Propertytax wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:26 am
Imo I like protonix the best when I make recommendations. Fewer drug interactions.
Was on Protonix for a very long time. Then Kaiser took it off their formulary and replaced it with Prilosec. The drug interactions have been a major issue for treatment of my other conditions since. The good news is, I am currently not taking any PPI anymore and somehow managing for a couple years.

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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by Propertytax » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:42 am

I can't understand why insurers are doing this, clinically speaking. Im seeing this frequently. I know prilosec is cheaper but some of the downstream problems of the potential interactions have to be more expensive to treat than paying for the more expensive med upfront!

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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by Propertytax » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:54 am

[/quote]
A friend of ours takes several prescription drugs and, to save money, she gets them at several different pharmacies - wherever she gets the lowest price. She gets one of them at Walmart. She has Medicare, but says she saves by going different places.
[/quote]

Careful doing this. Drug interactions can't be caught as easily when she's utilizing multiple pharmacies.

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dm200
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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by dm200 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:56 am

Propertytax wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:54 am
A friend of ours takes several prescription drugs and, to save money, she gets them at several different pharmacies - wherever she gets the lowest price. She gets one of them at Walmart. She has Medicare, but says she saves by going different places.
[/quote]

Careful doing this. Drug interactions can't be caught as easily when she's utilizing multiple pharmacies.
[/quote]

Absoloutely right. That is why I would not do this to just save a few dollars.

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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by stan1 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:11 am

carolinaman wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:32 pm

The drug is Dexilant, a premium PPI for GERD. The drug plan dropped all PPIs because there are now OTC PPIs available which is true, but the OTC ones are lower dosage than I need. There is no generic or OTC for Dexilant. I have appt next week with my doctor to discuss options.
This website may be of help. Although I think I'd talk to your doctor first.
https://www.dexilant.com/Savings

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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by CT-Scott » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:12 pm

niceguy7376 wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:23 am
CT-Scott wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:12 pm
Also, per my understanding of GoodRx prescriptions not going through your own insurance, I believe this also means that the cost of any prescriptions you fill through GoodRx will *not* be applied towards your Deductible or OOP Max.
What will happen if you use good rx to get the price discount but use your HSA debit card to make the payment? Would it be a bit better ?
You can absolutely use your HSA to pay for the OOP costs, whether you process the Rx through your primary health coverage or use GoodRx. Not sure if that's what you're asking.
LifeIsGood wrote:
Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:17 am
Do a prescription filled via Goodrx count towards your Part D deductible?
So I just took a look at the GoodRx site to see if they had a FAQ, and they do. I confirmed what I stated previously (if you use GoodRx, you're using it *in place* of your regular insurance, so the cost you pay for the Rx *won't* apply towards your deductible). However, there was a FAQ related to Medicare which stated this:
When you purchase a drug without using your Medicare plan, the cost of that drug will not typically count towards your limits. Some plans will allow you to submit receipts for drugs purchased without Medicare for credit towards your limits though, so check with your plan.
source: https://support.goodrx.com/hc/en-us/art ... cts-limits

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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:13 pm

I removed some off-topic comments (medical advice) and one post which were recommending drug dosages and describing effects. The reasons medical advice is not permitted in this forum:

1. This is an anonymous internet forum. It is not possible to verify anyone's identity (nor do we want to). Credentials also imply accurate advice, which may not always be the case.
2. There can be disagreement among experts, which can be harmful if someone is basing a medical decision on the advice.
3. A member's description may be incomplete.
4. Readers will misinterpret the member's description.
5. Readers will misinterpret the given advice.

Since real harm can be done, we do not permit medical advice and is the reason for the first sentence in: Medical Issues
Questions on medical issues are beyond the scope of the forum. If you are looking for medical information online, I suggest you start with the Medical Library Association's User's Guide to Finding and Evaluating Health Information on the Web which, in addition to providing guidance on evaluating health information, includes a list of their top recommended sites.
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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by fishboat » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:03 pm

I've seen a number of ads locally for this one..VERY competitive screaming deal, from what I've heard.

http://lakeviewpharmacy.com/pharmacy/fe ... ildenafil/

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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by carolinaman » Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:48 pm

Thanks for all the information. Just a recap on what I found out.

I talked with my Walgreen's pharmacist and she said Goodrx was the best and most common discount program they see. Costco confirmed this but said they sometimes do not accept Goodrx coupons. He did not say why but my guess is the coupon does not match the current discount. Over a week's time, I found 3 different Goodrx prices for my drug ranging from $163 to $194 for a 30 day supply. When I visited my doctor, they had Goodrx cards available for their patients.

Also got the following price comparison for 90 day drug supply: Costco cash price $900, Goodrx $580 and certified Canadian mail order pharmacy $276.

I have discussed situation with both my primary doctor and my GI doctor and now have a good path forward.

Thanks again.

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Re: Best Sources to Buy Prescriptions Out of Pocket

Post by dm200 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:53 pm

carolinaman wrote:
Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:48 pm
Thanks for all the information. Just a recap on what I found out.
I talked with my Walgreen's pharmacist and she said Goodrx was the best and most common discount program they see. Costco confirmed this but said they sometimes do not accept Goodrx coupons. He did not say why but my guess is the coupon does not match the current discount. Over a week's time, I found 3 different Goodrx prices for my drug ranging from $163 to $194 for a 30 day supply. When I visited my doctor, they had Goodrx cards available for their patients.
Also got the following price comparison for 90 day drug supply: Costco cash price $900, Goodrx $580 and certified Canadian mail order pharmacy $276.
I have discussed situation with both my primary doctor and my GI doctor and now have a good path forward.
Thanks again.
Great that doctors are in concurrence. Things change all the time - so keep checking for alternatives, changes to the formulary, availability of generics or equivalent drugs. Sometimes, as well, a drug believed to be the most effective turns out to not be. I would try to find "independent" reviews of drugs and not depend on that drug's manufcturer.

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