Walgreens a MAJOR Rip-Off For Prescriptions

Many generic medications are too expensive for patients who must pay out-of-pocket. The cost of even generic drugs at pharmacy chains like Walgreens, Eckerd, and CVS are prohibitively expensive.

But two chains, Costco and Sam's Club, sold generics at prices far, far lower than other stores. Here are the comparative prices in Houston stores for 90 tablets of generic Prozac:

  • Walgreens: $117
  • Eckerd: $115
  • CVS: $115
  • Sam's Club: $15
  • Costco: $12

The price at Costco is almost 90 percent less than the same drug at Walgreens. But most patients assume the price is largely the same at any pharmacy.

Freakonomics March 15, 2007


Dr. Mercola's Comment:

One of the more popular articles I've written for my Web site is one I posted almost exactly four years ago about a very simple way to lower your prescription drug costs (should you need them at all), provided you live near a Costco Warehouse.

In fact, nearly every time I walk into a Costco I marvel at their commitment to excellence at all levels. Their refund policy is outstanding, and I have always received prompt and courteous service there. They are clearly a company that is committed to excellence and great value so I am not at all surprised to find that this approach extends to their pharmacy.

It is also important to note that you can use Costco's pharmacy without being a member. However, I would have a hard time imagining a family that wouldn't benefit from having a membership (assuming they lived near a Costco).

Without question, this quick look at the unbelievable discrepancy in drug prices between warehouse stores like Costco and pharmacy chains explains why Walgreens and CVS have been able to expand their base of stores exponentially. A link to a fascinating Wall Street Journal article also shows how the savings on generic drugs extend far beyond fluoxetine (the generic version of Prozac).

Unfortunately, mass-market drug stores like Walgreens, Eckerd and CVS have become just as ubiquitous as 7-Elevens. Six Walgreens stores are located within five miles of my suburban Chicago clinic, no doubt built on the profits generated by newer generations of drugs that are far more expensive and no more effective than previous versions.

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