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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    6

    generic drug price gouging

    I think everyone should be aware that most generic drugs (those drugs no longer on patent) are being drastically overpriced by many pharmacies. I recently was told by my doctor that a prescription he was giving me should cost $4 for a month's supply because it was a generic form and had been on the market for many years. When I went to the local discount pharmacy to have it filled it was $29. When I questioned that price I was told that Walmart would sell it to me at $4 but they priced it at $29. I started thinking about this huge price discrepancy so I decided to call around. Walgreens would charge $89 for a month's supply however you could buy a discount card for $20 annually and then they would only charge you $9.99 for a month's supply. Remember, Sam's club or Walmart charges $4. So at work today several of us started looking up the drugs we were taking and calling around for prices. One guy was taking the generic of Zocor (cholesterol lowering drug), so we looked it up on Costco's site and the 20 mg dose for 30 pills was $6. Meijer phamacy charges $38 for the exact same prescription and Walgreens charges $48 for the drug without the $20 drug card but with it will charge 19.99. Every one of these drugs are the kind you'd take every day for the rest of your lives. It is like one store selling a bottle of aspirin for $4 and the next selling the exact same bottle for $40. Most people complain about the costs but never understand that it is the PHARMACY that is ripping you off, not the drug company since the drug is no longer on patent. The two best places to fill your generic prescpritions are at Costco and Sam's (Walmart). You don't need a membership to use their pharmacies. Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS are all price gouging. Costco's mark- up on the drugs even at their low price is around 80+% over their costs. Make sure you tell everyone and check it out for yourselves before you throw tons of money away year after year.
    Last edited by Mic; 04-20-2009 at 02:44 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Mars
    Posts
    1,313

    Re: generic drug price gouging

    Welcome to Scam.com

    One thing to bear in mind is that Sam's, Walmart and Costco sell drugs at $4.00 as a loss leader item. They are charging you less for the medicine then what it costs them to prepare your prescription for it in many cases, hoping you will come in and do more shopping in other departments. The pharmacies are being hurt very badly trying to match these ridiculously low prices. Many of their customers only purchase drugs without doing much more shopping at those locations. The low generic prices are a lifesaver though I can say from personal experience.

    Soapboxmom

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    6

    Re: generic drug price gouging

    yes and no soapboxmom. We did quite a bit of research today and for the most part Costco averages an 86% markup on their drugs. These drugs do not cost much to make and are made by generic drug makers not the pharm companies. The pharmaceutical companies need to recoup years worth of research so they get the big bucks for their drugs while on patent. But for the generics they are very cheaply made. It is the local pharmacies that are charging outrageous prices and they are hugely variable from one phamacy to the next. Why would Walgreens sell a drug for $86 but if you buy a membership card for $20 they will sell you the drug for $9.99? Because they can still make money on it. And they get to put $20 in their pocket for nothing.
    The scam is if your doctor just called in a script for you and you spent the $86 not knowing the difference. This is buyer beware. In my internet seach on this issue, back in 2002 there were investigative research articles done on this exact issue. I suggest you all look at your drugs and what you are paying your local pharmacy, then go to the Costco website where they publish their prices for the drugs and do a comparison. You will be shocked at the difference on generic brands. Take that price multiply it times 12 months and if it is a drug you will take for life, you can see the hundreds and thousands of dollars difference.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Newark, Delaware
    Posts
    3,278

    Re: generic drug price gouging

    Quote Originally Posted by Mic View Post
    I think everyone should be aware that most generic drugs (those drugs no longer on patent) are being drastically overpriced by many pharmacies. I recently was told by my doctor that a prescription he was giving me should cost $4 for a month's supply because it was a generic form and had been on the market for many years. When I went to the local discount pharmacy to have it filled it was $29. When I questioned that price I was told that Walmart would sell it to me at $4 but they priced it at $29. I started thinking about this huge price discrepancy so I decided to call around. Walgreens would charge $89 for a month's supply however you could buy a discount card for $20 annually and then they would only charge you $9.99 for a month's supply. Remember, Sam's club or Walmart charges $4. So at work today several of us started looking up the drugs we were taking and calling around for prices. One guy was taking the generic of Zocor (cholesterol lowering drug), so we looked it up on Costco's site and the 20 mg dose for 30 pills was $6. Meijer phamacy charges $38 for the exact same prescription and Walgreens charges $48 for the drug without the $20 drug card but with it will charge 19.99. Every one of these drugs are the kind you'd take every day for the rest of your lives. It is like one store selling a bottle of aspirin for $4 and the next selling the exact same bottle for $40. Most people complain about the costs but never understand that it is the PHARMACY that is ripping you off, not the drug company since the drug is no longer on patent. The two best places to fill your generic prescpritions are at Costco and Sam's (Walmart). You don't need a membership to use their pharmacies. Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS are all price gouging. Costco's mark- up on the drugs even at their low price is around 80+% over their costs. Make sure you tell everyone and check it out for yourselves before you throw tons of money away year after year.
    I use to work for a pharmaceutical company for over 34 years. They do raise prices at least twice a year...like clockwork..but once a prescription goes generic...you do have to shop around...it is the pharmacies deciding the pricing on those generics..I go to Walmart...sometimes I shop but most times I don't...I like paying $4.00 for my prescription and you should too.
    I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck. ~Emma Goldman

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    6

    Re: generic drug price gouging

    You're the smart one Peregrine. I have been spending $76 a month on two drugs for the last two years that I could have been spending $8 a month instead, had I ever bothered to check. That is $816 a year difference on the same drugs! That's price gouging (950% difference)!

  6. #6

    Re: generic drug price gouging

    I would like to mention, that although Costco is a "membership" type store, you do NOT have to be a member to buy prescriptions there, as it is a federally regulated substance. You just tell them at the door that you wish to use the pharmacy, and they will let you in.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Newark, Delaware
    Posts
    3,278

    Re: generic drug price gouging

    Quote Originally Posted by Mic View Post
    You're the smart one Peregrine. I have been spending $76 a month on two drugs for the last two years that I could have been spending $8 a month instead, had I ever bothered to check. That is $816 a year difference on the same drugs! That's price gouging (950% difference)!
    Thank you...Hope it helps you from now on...shop around...please don't pay those horrible prices for generic.
    I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck. ~Emma Goldman

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Newark, Delaware
    Posts
    3,278

    Re: generic drug price gouging

    Quote Originally Posted by Braelyn Scarlett View Post
    I would like to mention, that although Costco is a "membership" type store, you do NOT have to be a member to buy prescriptions there, as it is a federally regulated substance. You just tell them at the door that you wish to use the pharmacy, and they will let you in.
    thanks for the info..I would not ever have known that..we all need to get smart about our healthcare.
    I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck. ~Emma Goldman

  9. #9

    Re: generic drug price gouging

    I've written several articles about this topic in my Rx Savings Blog at MrMedSaver.com.

    First off, regarding $4.00 generics, they're definitely being used as loss leaders. The stores that promote these programs are willing to lose money just to get you into the door. It costs a pharmacy about $10.00-15.00 to fill just one prescription . . . and that's not even including the cost of the drug. Therefore, you can't realistically expect smaller pharmacies - which make about 95% of their profits off prescriptions - to have these kind of prices. Furthermore, you have to be extremely careful about utilizing pharmacies that promote $4.00 generics . . . because most of them will simply overcharge you on your other drugs. For more than you ever wanted to know about $4.00 generics, read my article What Giant Retailers Donít Want You to Know: The Real Scoop on $4.00 Prescriptions.

    Speaking of pharmacies overcharging you for generic drugs, my basic philosophy is that there's no such thing as "the cheapest pharmacy." It depends on which drugs you take. A few other articles you might find interesting are: Pharmacies Will Screw You Over on Prescription Drug Pricing if You Let Them and Multiple Pharmacies: a Prescription for Disaster. Also, for a few other examples on how pharmacies price newer generics, check out an article on how pharmacies price generic Topamax and an article on how pharmacies price generic Prilosec.

    As a pharmacist, the topic of prescription pricing is very dear to my heart. It's an extremely complex topic . . . and there's hardly anyone out there to really look out for the consumer. If anyone has any specific questions about prescription drug pricing, let me know. I'd be happy to help.
    Last edited by Soapboxmom; 05-02-2009 at 04:48 PM. Reason: Please keep links and contact information in your signature only. Thank you!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    6

    Re: generic drug price gouging

    I understand you are an expert in this field, however, the price variance between pharmacies that are not pricing generics under $10 is more than drastic. $86 versus $19.99 at the same pharmacy (by making you buy a$20 drug card)? That is price gouging!!!!! Start thinking about any other product and you can really see the difference. How about toothpaste? Should it be priced at $25 at one store and at another $5? People would know the diffence.

    Pharmacies have captive audiences because their customers are ignorant of the price of generics. If you've never bought a product before, you have no sense of its price, no point of reference. In fact 95% of the time, the first time you know the price is when you pick up your prescription. Pharmacies that are NOT using as a "loss leader" charge sometimes three times as much as the pharmacy down the street. That truly is price gouging. No other product can you get away with doing that. I don't really care that they gouge you more on one drug than the next, the whole system is fraudulent.

    Let's say you are right and generics cost $10 to produce. How do they then say $40, $50 or $60 is not excessive? And how can you possibly justify one store at $80 while the next is at $20. Is everyone supposed to call around first and find out the price?

    Think about it. Your doctor prescribes the drug and asks you which pharmacy to you want it called in to.
    You've never heard of the drug so you tell the doctor, "Uh, let me call around and see who isn't gouging on this drug and I'll call you back and tell you then." Talk about inefficiency!

    These are GENERICS, cheaply made and not on patent. These are obviously HUGE profit items for the pharmacies and they are price gouging pure and simple!
    Last edited by Mic; 05-04-2009 at 06:01 AM.

  11. #11

    Re: generic drug price gouging

    I definitely agree with you. The price variations for many generic drugs among pharmacies are absolutely ridiculous. And the reason these pharmacies are able to get away with overcharging for these drugs is simple . . . most people simply donít check.

    But you have to realize that the pharmacies that offer $4.00 prescriptions overcharge people for other generic drugs as well . . . often by outrageous amounts. For example, take the Topamax blog I referred to above. I found this new generic for as little as $50-60óyet Wal-Mart (who practically invented $4.00 generics) was charging $240. If you look at the comments on that blog, one reader claimed that she didnít believe me that this drug could be purchased so cheaply. Sheíd called Samís, Wal-Mart, and Kmart and was quoted anywhere from about $225 to about $285. I encouraged her to look around a little further . . . and she found the same exact prescription for $37! Thatís about 85% cheaper!

    You ask if everyone is supposed to call around to determine prescription prices. This is EXACTLY what I would recommend. With the exception of independent pharmacies, where every store is different, Iíd say that about the only pharmacy chain you can trust to continually have low prices is Costco . . . and even they will sometimes overcharge you for prescriptions.
    Dr. Jacob Milbradt
    www.MrMedSaver.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    6

    Re: generic drug price gouging

    One correction to your post. If the same drug costs $255 then at $37 that's not an 85% difference, that's closer to 850% difference. Truly price gouging.

  13. #13

    Re: generic drug price gouging

    Quote Originally Posted by Mic View Post
    One correction to your post. If the same drug costs $255 then at $37 that's not an 85% difference, that's closer to 850% difference. Truly price gouging.
    It depends on which way you do the math. $37 is about 15% of $255 . . . therefore the lower price is about 85% cheaper. Or you could say that higher price is about 690% more expensive than $37.
    Dr. Jacob Milbradt
    www.MrMedSaver.com

  14. 06-06-2009, 12:01 PM

    Reason
    seems to be one-liners to display his ad in signature - if you find anything valuable in all of it, you can un-delete.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Posts
    11

    Re: generic drug price gouging

    Generic drugs are the same as non-generic but cheaper as the makers don't pay for patents. There is nothing wrong with generic drug if you can find legitimate sellers. and the only place you can get them is online.

    Quote Originally Posted by infinique View Post
    You must be crazy to buy pills online. For one, they might be giving you cyanide capsules.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    6

    Re: generic drug price gouging

    You can get generic drugs anywhere. However, you will be scammed on the price at many pharmacies. Costco and Sam's have the best prices as well as Walmart.

  17. #16

    Re: generic drug price gouging

    Mic,

    If you think Walmart has some of the best generic prices around, you need to read some of the articles I linked to above in post #9.

    Really, there is no "cheapest pharmacy." It all depends on which medications you take. That's what makes comparison shopping between pharmacies so important.
    Dr. Jacob Milbradt
    www.MrMedSaver.com

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