“Prescription Costs Vary Widely”

January 15, 2010 – Noticing a proliferation of complaints about prescription drug prices, the AJC spoke with experts about the economics of prescription shopping.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution conducted an informal survey of prices for five frequently-prescribed drugs and found that some drugs cost twice as much at the metro-Atlanta pharamcies that charge the most. Lucy Soto, writing for the paper, concludes that comparing prices makes sense for insured and uninsured alike, as a generic drug can cost less than the insurance co-pay for a comparable branded drug.

Calls to a handful of randomly selected pharmacies produced evidence that prices vary widely. On the one hand, the generic drug Simvastatin, commonly prescribed to fight high clesterol, cost double the price at Wal-Mar, when compared to CVS and Walgreens and almost four times as much as at Costco. For the generic drug Citalopram or the antibiotic Amoxicillin, however, Wal-Mart was the place to go, thanks to their $4 plan.

Ms. Soto asked the $370 billion* question: “Why is it such a pricing jungle out there?” and got this response from Devon Herrick, who works with the National Center for Policy Analysis, “It varies because it can… because people don’t consider prescription drug purchases in the same light as other purchases, and when the doctor is the one prescribing, it even removes more discretion.”

According to the experts, even with all the consumer websites out there, patients need to do their own legwork and talk with their doctors about over-the-counter alternatives or generics and about splitting pills. As for people with good insurance and low co-pays, or who believe they don’t have to care about prescription prices, the author points out that some plans are moving to sliding percentage co-pays, tiered drug reimbursement, and higher deductibles.

“If not one cares, that’s just going to drive the price up, Herrick said, “If we all do that, it gets passed on to the cost of employer plans and passed on to workers through reduced wages.”

Read the full article here:

“Prescription costs vary widely,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, January 15, 2010


40 Grove St, Suite 270 Wellesley, MA 02482

  • LinkedIn - White Circle
  • Facebook - White Circle
  • Twitter - White Circle
  • YouTube - White Circle


© Copyright 2020 Scripta Insights, Inc. 

Scripta™ is neither a pharmacy nor a doctor. The benefit service does not tell you what drug to take and does not participate in the drug selection process. Only your physician can determine the medications that are right for you. These alternative medications are options for less costly drugs that physicians may prescribe in place of the medications you are taking now. Scripta has reviewed your current medications only for the purpose of identifying potential cost savings for you to consider with your physician. Scripta has not analyzed the effectiveness or other therapeutic aspects of these medication alternatives. Accordingly, this report and any other forms of communication received from Scripta are not, nor should they be interpreted as, any form of treatment, drug regimen review, or provision of counseling or consultation by a prescriber, pharmacist or pharmacy. Do not stop taking your medication, change your medication, or start taking a new medication without being directed to do so by your physician and filling the prescription under the oversight of a licensed pharmacist. The alternatives set forth above may not be equivalent to your current medication, may interact adversely with your other medications, may not be indicated in light of your other conditions, may cause different or severe side effects, or may be less effective at treating your condition. Medication prices are approximate based on information provided by your pharmacy benefits manager, insurance plans, and/or employer, and may vary from pharmacy to pharmacy. Check with your insurance plan to obtain a full list of pharmacies where your prescriptions can be filled. All information herein is HIPAA protected, treated as highly confidential, and never shared with your employer.

Scripta™, Scripta Insights™ and The Best Meds at the Best Price® are registered trademarks of Scripta Insights, Inc. The contents of the site are for informational purposes only and not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We do not recommend or endorse any specific prescription drug or pharmacy that may be mentioned herein. Reliance on any information provided by us, our affiliates, employees or others is solely at your own risk.