Author: Meg (---.188.240.36.euc.wi.charter.com)
Date: 06-05-04 11:28
Author: John Dresser (host-69-144-212-60.csr-wy.client.bresnan.net)
Date: 06-04-04 10:59
Drug procurement and pricing comparisons.
For those of us who have to buy our drugs without insurance benefits, or, as in my case, have a high annual deductible, I would like to share some of my shopping suggestions and price results. I believe these might be about the lowest we can expect, but perhaps someone else out there has found better prices and would write in to report prices and pharmacy.
If you are paying more than these prices, try using this information as leverage to bargain for better pricing at your local pharmacy. I am using the Walmart pharmacy, which is probably available to most of us in the U.S.
Benicar 40mg (any quantity, I suggest at least a min of 100 caps) $1.30 each
Minocycline 100 mg 100 caps $.90 each
Zithromax 250 mg 30 tablets (easy to split) $7.00 each
I first bought Minocycline at Costco, did not mention my insurance benefit, and they sold 100 x 50 mg caps for $59.49, or $.59 each. The online price at Costco would have been $50.39. I since have learned the price might have been discounted more if I had told them about my insurance.
My first Benicar tabs were free samples from my doctor, so if you are just starting out, ask your Doc for as many freebies as he can spare! I then paid cash at Walmart, but later learned they would give me a better price if I went through my insurance company, even though I would pay cash each time anyway (since I have a very high annual deductible).
The insurance company eventually restricted my purchase to a 21 day supply, and even then, I often could not get all 63 tabs because they rarely had that much in stock! I eventually had a chat with the pharmacist at Walmart, and reasoned that she should allow me to buy directly, with cash, (not involve the insurance company) and pay the much better insurance discounted rate. This way you get the best possible price, and you should be able to buy much greater quantities to save yourself trips to the pharmacy every three weeks. ( Plus…….if you don’t have to share this info with your insurance company, it might help keep your premiums lower)
If you do have insurance, keep track of your annual expenses and then be sure to submit these cash purchases if you reach your annual deductible, so to the insurance company so they can be counted toward your deductible.
Apparently each Walmart Pharmacist has authority to adjust pricing for the local market or as he/she sees fit. I reasoned that it was not fair to charge a premium price to the unfortunate person who did not have insurance coverage, then give a discount price to customers who have insurance. She agreed! Use this reasoning with your local pharmacist if they balk giving you discount pricing when you initially show them my prices listed above.
I like to estimate the likely quantity I expect to need to get through the protocol, and ask my Doc to prescribe that full amount at one time. That way, since I am not limited to a 3 or 4 week supply by the insurance company, I can negotiate better discounts based on quantity, and don’t have to hassle with frequent trips to the pharmacy. Even if you have a prescription for 6 months supply of Benicar…….say 600 x 40mg, you might only buy 300 at a time, or whatever makes sense for you. Be sure to insist on the best price no matter what quantity you decide to buy.
Quantity does not seem to be an issue for Benicar, but I was able to get better pricing for Mino and Z by purchasing larger quantities. I progressed to 100 mg of Mino much sooner than my initial 100x 50mg supply ran out, so I ended up buying 100 x 100mg caps for my second and hopefully last purchase ofMino. I purchased Zithromax, 30 x 250mg caps, and hope that will be enough to finish the protocol. The next higher order quantity discount for Z was way too much for our estimated needs.
Please write in if you find better prices or procurement ideas. I hope this info helps you.
Please do not mention my name at Walmart, in case of repercussions toward my local Pharmacist. Just tell them this was the price given at another Walmart store.
Best of luck! John D