(PHARMACY) PRICE GOUGING

From JiMath via 1stAdmPAO

Recently, Steve Wilson, an investigative reporter for channel 7 News in Detroit, did a story on generic drug price gouging by pharmacies. He found in his investigation that some of these generic drugs were marked-up as much as 3,000 percent or more. That's not a typo - three thousand percent.

So often, we blame the drug companies for the high cost of drugs, and usually rightfully so, but in this case, the fault clearly lies with the pharmacies. For example: If you had to buy a prescription drug and bought the name brand, you might pay $100 for 100 pills. The pharmacist might tell you that if you get the generic equivalent, they would only cost $80, making you think you are “saving” $20. What the pharmacist is not telling you is that those 100 generic pills may have cost him only $10.

At the end of the report, one of the anchors asked Mr. Wilson whether or not there were any pharmacies that did not adhere to this practice, and he said that Costco, for one, consistently charged little over their cost for generic drugs.

I went to the Costco site, where you can look up any drug, and get its online price. It says that the in-store prices are consistent with the online prices.

Just to give you one example from my own experience, I had to use the drug “Compazine,” which helps prevent nausea in chemo patients. I used the generic equivalent, which cost $54.99 for 60 pills at CVS. I checked the price at Costco and I could have bought 100 pills for $19.89. For 145 of my pain pills, I paid $72.57. I could have gotten 150 at Costco for $28.08.

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 simply tell them at the door that you wish to use the pharmacy, and they let you in.

Editor's Note: Sam's and other such member-type stores allow use of their pharmacies to non-members, too. Might be a good idea to check them to see how their prices compare as well.