How to save money on your prescription drugs

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Prescription drugs can be very expensive and they only seem to be getting pricier. Consumer Reports found that you can save some cash by changing where you shop.

A new Consumer Reports poll found that one-third of all Americans saw a spike in prices over the past year.

Consumer Reports secret shoppers compared the price to fill five common generic prescription drugs at more than 200 pharmacies across the country, including Costco, Walgreens, CVS, Target and Walmart, as well as independents and supermarket pharmacies and a verified online pharmacy.

"Some Americans are seeing their drug prices skyrocket, but you may be able to save money if you change where you shop for your prescriptions," said Lisa Gill with Consumer Reports.

The drugs in Consumer Reports' national price analysis are commonly prescribed generics for Actos, Cymbalta, Lipitor, Plavix, and Singulair.

"Of the prescriptions that we looked at, the three biggest drugstores - CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens - were the most expensive," Gill said.

The bill for all five drugs at Walgreens was over $600. At Rite Aid, it was almost $830, and CVS was the highest at $855.

The price at Costco was much lower at $117, and you don't need a Costco membership to fill your prescriptions there.

Buying the drugs online was the best deal of all - it was only $83 at Consumer Reports recommends only shopping at verified internet pharmacy practice sites that show the VIPPS logo, like HealthWarehouse.

Consumer Reports also found some real bargains at independent pharmacies, but you may need to ask for a better deal. Their pharmacists often have more flexibility to match or beat competitors' prices.

"Never be afraid to ask a pharmacist for a lower price no matter where you shop. Some pharmacies may charge you less if they know you're paying out of pocket," Gill said.

Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization that does not accept advertising and does not have any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site.
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