Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A non-partisan note for the times: pharmacy cards

My wife and I discovered this about two months ago and I have been meaning to blog about it sooner.

We have the State of Delaware prescription plan and do our business with the local Eckerds. One day the pharmacist suggested to us that we really should have the Eckerds' pharmacy card, which is free.

I had always thought that those pharmacy discount cards were for people who did not have good prescription plans.

He showed me the error of my ways: on the particular generic medication we were refilling that evening, the 90-day supply was (no kidding) nearly $12 cheaper than through my prescription plan.

It isn't always the case, but on about one out of three drug purchases we make at Eckerds the store discount card comes out to be cheaper than the prescription plan.

Here's the catch: they are not automatically allowed to check and give you the best price between the two. You have to ask, each time you are filling a new prescription. That's a pain, but doing so, for a family of six that has three people who use a lot of medications, has already saved me $126 over the State plan in just two months.

I have no idea what Happy Harrys or anybody else has in the way of such discount plans, but it is certainly worth checking out if you shop there.


Mark H said...

Steve, there are certain medications at Walgreens, Walmart, and Rite Aid that are cheaper buying the medication through the pharmacy outright or with their "prescription plan" than with the State's Medco plan. At Walmart, they don't have a "plan" but the offer a months worth of certain generic drugs for 4$ which with some drugs, make it cheaper to ignore the Medco co-pays. I've found that generics such as antibiotics fit into this category. Unfortunately, of all the regular medications I take, none of them fits this scenario :(

LiberalGeek said...

I have been lucky, in that I do not take any medications regularly. Like the grocery store "member cards" I am always concerned about what thing of value you are giving up in exchange for that discount.

For the grocery cards, you are agreeing that they can sell the data to manufacturers so that they can target advertising. Personally, that annoys me. I only use my phone number for the only card I use. The number is still in the system as the previous owner of the number.