Bianca Castro

Why Prescription Drug Prices Vary

Dealing with the ever-changing landscape of prescription drug costs can be challenging.

High drug prices are among the top reasons our viewers reach out to our consumer team, viewers like Larry Hammons, who depends on medication to control his seizures.

Like million of Americans, he is on a fixed income, so he also depends on his medication being affordable but recently, in a pinch, he tried a different pharmacy than his usual and found his medication was triple was he normally pays. 

"It was triple the price and I could't believe it," said Hammons.

Dr. Annesha White, Assistant Dean for Pharmacy Assessment at UNT Health Science Center says drug pricing may vary from place to place because of the numbers of players involved in the process.

"We have pharmaceutical companies, pharmacy benefit managers, wholesalers, retail pharmacies, all those entities negotiate drug pricing," said White. "How can we addrss this issue as a patient or customer?"  

The best way is for consumers to make technology their ally.

Use websites and apps that map out the cheapest drug prices in your neighborhood.

She also says a simple phone call to pharmacies can be just as effective.
Sometimes the cash price is cheaper than your cost with prescription drug insurance and she says most pharmacies will offer you a generic or coupon to help save you money.

"Many information sources for drug pricing are at our fingertips," said White.

Hammons managed to make it to his regular pharmacy for his meds and now knows prescription drugs can come at a premium, depending where you get them.

White believes drug pricing will level out from pharmacy to pharmacy as technology improves and more customers comparison shop.

Apps & Websites to Compare Drug Prices:

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