Shopping For Great Pharmaceutical Deals Locally
Last December I wrote a post talking about grocery shopper’s cards and the great savings you can get from them. Even though I wasn’t someone with a pattern of going to lots of different stores for groceries, since I literally share a backyard with one, I have found not only great deals here and there at other places but foods my own store doesn’t have that are pretty tasty.
Recently I’ve discovered something that’s even more beneficial, depending on your malady. Presently I don’t have health insurance, and unfortunately I’m diabetic. I’m also on insulin, a mix, to help supplement my other medication. It’s not until you don’t have insurance that you find out how much stuff really costs; shocking!
At the same time, it’s not until you have to start shopping around that you find some very strange and interesting deals. It seems that if you have a lot of local grocery stores that have pharmacies and a lot of pharmacies around you’ll find that each store seems to have a special price for certain types of things, not necessarily diabetes.
Here’s an example. The insulin I take is known as Humulin 70/30. It normally comes in what’s called a pen, where you attach a needle when it’s time for an injection, you turn the bottom to the dosage you need, and then you inject yourself. The price for this is at least $265 a box. I say that because when I started looking around the price went from that up to $399 a box; ouch! Depending on your dose, a box could last you a month, or possibly less; that’s a lot of money.
However, it turns out that Walmart has its own version of that same medication, in vials, for less than $25 per vial. Two vials equals a month’s supply when compared to the Humulin 70/30, which means it costs me less than $50 a month, and there’s no tax; stunning!
I know someone’s out there saying “yeah, but that’s Walmart”. Here’s the deal. With vials you now need syringes. Walmart charges $35 for 100 syringes. Locally the range for syringes was between $29 and $55; interesting isn’t it? However, one store in my area actually gives you syringes for free as long as you have a prescription; what?!?!? Yes, it’s true! So, that’s the store I go to for those; nice savings, eh? And since I inject twice a day, that means they last a month and a half; at free, that’s fantastic.
Do you have a high cholesterol level? I don’t really, but because I’m diabetic my doctor has put me on something; ugh. I’m not on Lipitor because that’s a pretty strong medication, but what if I was? At most stores Lipitor can cost you as much as $20 for a month’s prescription. That’s not too costly so no big deal you say. However, at the store I share a backyard with they give you Lipitor for free. Did I say free? Yes, it’s free! If I wanted the stronger medication I could have my doctor call it in and I could get it for free. But since I’m hoping I’m only temporarily on this stuff I’m sticking with what I’m taking, which is only $4 for a month’s supply.
Here’s the thing. Even if you have insurance, if you owe a co-pay that’s around $40 looking into stores that might offer what you need to take at a lower price might be a smart way to go. When my wife was working at the hospital we got a special deal, but if I’d had to buy those medications elsewhere I’d have had a 40% co-pay for them. For that insulin, it means I’d have had to pay more than $100 for it in some places, whereas at Walmart I’d have only had to pay $15; I’m thinking that’s a deal worth looking into.
It pays to shop around for expensive things anyway, but hopefully you’ll be able to find the types of deals I have in your area.