For those who are uninsured, getting sick is the most feared incident that could happen. Paying out-of-pocket to visit the doctor’s office and having to fork over the money to pay for medications so that you can actually get better can get expensive—really expensive. Thanks to a new Web site however the uninsured (and even the insured too) may just be able to at the very least save some serious cash on prescription drugs.
GoodRX, which was launched earlier this week, is a service that helps consumers find the cheapest medications in their area via zip code. It functions similar to other money-saving apps and web sites that are designed to help consumers locate cheap gas and groceries—the big difference of course is that it retrieves data and cash price listings directly from more than 25,000 major pharmacies like Walgreens and Costco (online and physical stores included) as well as federal agencies located in the U.S.
Currently the site has a database of 6,000 drugs. To find medications needed and to compare prices, all a user has to do is type in the name of the medication needed and then type-in his or her zip code (or city should suffice if you’re willing to drive across town). A list of prices with locations on a map will tell users where the better deals are. On the left hand tool bar users can also refine their search by selecting the length they are willing to travel, form of medication (tablet, chewable, liquid), strength (250 mg or 500mg for example), quantity, and label (brand name or generic).
For a better idea of how it works, this is the information that was retrieved when searching for 30-count, 40mg of brand name Lipitor using a Houston, Texas based-zip code:
The cheapest is offered online—$157.80 at Familymeds.com (brand name). The cheapest physical location is at Kroger for $165.29 (also brand name). While currently the service is only designed to more or less help those without insurance, those who do have insurance may choose to opt out of a co-pay if a generic brand is incredibly cheaper. Check out this Senior Medigap plans that helps you pay for your prescription drugs.
While the service will surely be valuable to many consumers, it’s important to remember that some pharmacies always offer discounted generic brand prescription drugs. For example, Wal-Mart offers a special $4 program for generic medications in an effort to make prescription drugs affordable. While not all medications can be found in a generic-alternative, a good chunk of them are. To see if a generic brand of the medication you need is available, check Wal-Mart’s list.
That said, with a little bit of assistance and research, getting sick may not have to necessary do major damage to your wallet.
Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to mariana.ashley031 @gmail.com.