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Prescription drugs

Save money by using online pharmacies for prescription drugs

Consumer Reports has surveyed a number of online pharmacies and found that the savings can be substantial if you know where to shop.

ST. LOUIS — If you get your prescription drugs in the mail, you may be relying on drugstore chains like CVS and Walgreens. But times have changed; Nowadays, the number of legitimate online pharmacies has increased, giving you plenty of low-cost options.

Consumer Reports has surveyed a number of online pharmacies and found that the savings can be substantial if you know where to shop.

In a recent Kaiser Family Foundation analysis, 3 in 10 adults who need a prescription drug said they hadn’t taken it as directed in the past year because the cost was too high. . And it’s not just the uninsured who are struggling, according to Consumer Reports. Many insured persons may have high deductibles to meet before discounts begin.

A savings solution can be found online. Major retailers like Amazon and Costco offer discounted medications, as do sites like GeniusRx, Honeybee Health, and others.

To see if the savings are real, CR got to work, comparing prices so you don’t have to. In general, he found online prices to be low.

CR has also seen substantial savings if you order your medications for multiple months. For example, at Ro Pharmacy, you can get a 30-day supply of generic Lipitor, a cholesterol-lowering drug, for $9.90. One year supply? Just $19.80.

But there can be downsides if you pay for your medication out of pocket. For one thing, that money generally won’t go toward your insurance deductible. Another downside: you may not be able to find your exact prescription.

Many of the sites verified by CR are not full-service pharmacies, so they may not offer insulin or brand name medications. They practically only offer generic drugs at low prices.

Another problem: They might not do as good a job as your local pharmacy at checking for dangerous drug interactions. The bottom line is that these sites could help you save money. But if you take a lot of medications or complex medications, it may be best to stick to a local pharmacy.

Before trying an online pharmacy, make sure the site can deliver to you. CR found that four of the sites they checked ship to all 50 states.

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Joan J. Dean

The author Joan J. Dean