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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Prescriptions Costs

This weekend I went to my doctor and was given 3 prescriptions to fill. Unfortunately I had lost my medical insurance when my previous assignment was up, so I would have to pay the full cost of the prescription myself. I'd gone without insurance earlier this year, so I knew they would be pricey. This time I decided to call around and find the cheapest prices. Here are my results.

Prescription Quantity Target Walmart Rite Aid
Venlafaxine 15mg 60 $243.99 $236.78 $312.00
Trazodone 100mg 30 $4.00 $4.00 $8.99
Buspirone 15mg 30 $10.99 $7.78 $8.99
Total   $258.98 $248.56 $329.98

And then I remembered that I had read a blog somewhere that said you didn't need a membership to get into warehouse stores such as Costco and Sam's club. I decided to give Costco a call. Here are their prices for the same medications.

Prescription Quantity Costco % Saving (over most expensive)
Venlafaxine 15mg 60 $27.22 91.30%
Trazodone 100mg 30 $6.40 28.80%
Buspirone 15mg 30 $13.59 no savings
Total   $47.21 85.70%

Now this is obviously a very small sample of medications, but they are considered, daily, lifetime drugs. That means I will have to take them every day for the rest of my life. Imagine how much money I will save over my lifetime!!

The important things to remember are that you DO NOT need a membership to get prescriptions filled at a warehouse store because medications are regulated by the federal government, therefore you can't be required to have a membership. Another thing to remember is how very much money you can save if you have to pay for your medicines in cash. And finally, even if you have insurance, you will still save money if you have a co-insurance, or you will save your insurance money by buying cheaper medicines which may help lower the cost of health care in the long term.

This applies to the United States only, as I don't know how membership clubs and health care works in other countries.


  1. Wow! Great information! I didn't know that you didn't have to have a membership to use the club pharmacies. Those prices at Costco are great - and they deliver to your home! I'll have to keep that in mind.
    - RomanticThoughts

  2. WOW, thanks, I didn't think of buying meds there & I'm usually pretty good about saving money. Btw, hope things go well so you can get your insurance again soon

  3. Wow, that's an amazing difference in price! Thank you for sharing this important information. Just goes to show, it pays to shop around.

  4. E, good thing you shopped around. It's amazing how much pharmacies overcharge.

    Thanks for sharing about Costco & Sams.

  5. Elizabeth, it was me who blogged about the prescriptions in Costco. I am happy you find what you want in Costco and was way cheaper than other pharmacies :)
    This is my blog about it

  6. Just reading pill names I get a mild headache! Wishing you plenty of health and when pills are needed to always find the best prices!

  7. Holy cow! That's a huge difference in price!!! I've had my own periods of time w/o health insurance, and thanks so much for this info❣
    I'm going to read Mimi's blog about it right now ...

  8. This is a great article and I hope it helps a lot of people who are in the same situation you are! I'm a Costco member and didn't realize their prescription prices were so much lower?! Wow, that's quite a savings!! *Ü*

  9. WOW! Think of all the crafting supplies you can buy with the money you saved at the pharmacy!!!

  10. WOW! I had no idea you didn't need memberships to fill your prescriptions there! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I'm pretty sure you just saved me over $250 in medications this month!

  11. The big pharma always seems to get their money one way or another. I'm glad you found them cheaper, a LOT cheaper!

  12. Bella- great idea. "Hey honey, I saved almost $300 on my prescriptions this month, so I can spend it on beads right????"

    And Biji- THANK YOU so much for posting your blog link again!! I knew it was one of the teamies who posted it, I just couldnt remember who.

  13. uniquecozytreasures- OMG! I had heard that Cosco was cheaper, but there is none anywhere in 80 miles from here(lol). Thankfully, mine only costs around $4.00 a month. So glad you found out!

  14. I've worked in health care most of my life..have always been aware of the costs if you have insurance...this is completely new and helpful information...can't wait to share with my friends without insurance....

  15. WOW!! That goes to show how greedy some places can be, if one can offer it so cheap and another is so expensive you have to wonder....

    Interesting also that the ONE prescription at Costco is 6.40 but 4 dollars at the other.

    So ONE is more expensive.... not by much though. Very strange the large discrepancies between places.

  16. Ouch! Prescriptions are so expensive :(

  17. Very sad to hear you have to take new meds. That is even worse with no insurance. It Canada where I live, we have health care, but still sometimes have to pay for meds. I'm lucky, cuz at my day job, we have a great health plan. I pay very little for meds.
    May the insurance faries visit you and bless you with further savings.