Patients Headed Online for Prescription Drug Discounts - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/15/04

Patients Headed Online for Prescription Drug Discounts

With the skyrocketing price of drugs, a lot of patients are bound to cringe when the pharmacist rings up the cost of their prescription. That's why so many people now are turning to the internet for discounts.

One website, www.destinationrx.com, compares the prices of several on-line pharmacies. You can save a few dollars on something like ibuprofen, to well above $64 on more costly stuff like Fluoxetine. There is a shipping charge, but even so, the savings may be worth it.

But before you drop a drug in your on-line shopping cart, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy says you need to be very cautious. Apparently, a lot of on-line consumers are coming into pharmacies with questions that can't be answered. "We're finding that patients are coming into pharmacies with Ziplock bags with drugs that may not have a label on the bag," says Ernie Boyd with the Ohio Pharmacists Association.

Here are suggestions from the pharmacy board:

  • If you're shopping on-line, first look for this seal issued by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. It confirms that the on-line pharmacy is licensed and regulated.
  • Before you buy, ask your doctor if there are comparable drugs that cost less.
  • Ask your pharmacist if you can buy it in bulk. Because, for example, a 90 day supply could save you a lot of money.
  • Find out if there is a generic drug that would work for you.
  • And if it's a one time prescription, before you leave the doctor's office, put on your best smile and ask, "Do you have any free samples?". That alone could save you the cost of the prescription right there.
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