Help us find the least expensive reliable prescription drugs
February 3, 2016 8:27 PM   Subscribe

My mother has been paying an arm and a leg for prescriptions. I'm curious if anyone knows of better deals from reliable companies.

She has Medicare but not the prescription coverage, and won't be getting it. She is paying out of pocket.

All of the prescription drugs below she gets from Canada from Big Mountain Pharmacy. They charge $10 shipping per orders placed at the same time, but also offer discounts on the next order, which pretty much cancels out the shipping cost.

Dexilant, 60 mg, #90, $274

Azopt, 10 mg/ml, 5 ml bottle (she can't remember what she pays at the moment)

Lumigan, .01%, 5 ml, $97

Beclametasone diproprionate (generic for Qvar), 100 mcg, 200 metered doses, can't remember cost

These four seem to be the ones she's most worried about. General recommendations for Canadian pharmacies online are also welcome. These drugs cost sometimes multiples at the US pharmacies.
posted by mysterious_stranger to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
posted by JimN2TAW at 8:38 PM on February 3, 2016

Are those prices USD or CAD? Obviously right now there's a big difference between those two.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:44 PM on February 3, 2016

Look up each prescription on GoodRx. I've saved hundreds on prescriptions thanks to them.
posted by jessca84 at 9:12 PM on February 3, 2016 [7 favorites]

Best answer: I've purchased Lumigan on for under $12 a bottle. It was shipped from India but the product was made by Allergan in the US and had the hologram sticker. It was definitely the real thing.

I see they now carry Careprost and it's made in India. You shoud verify but I believe it's the same thing.

Shipping was I think $25 or $30 but worth it because I bought several items, for much less than in the US.
posted by Dragonness at 9:20 PM on February 3, 2016 [2 favorites]

Can she discuss with her doctor the possibility of switching from Dexilant (dexlansoprazole) to Prevacid (lansoprazole)? Not only are they essentially the same molecule, the latter is generic and sold OTC, and appears to be significantly cheaper.
posted by un petit cadeau at 9:27 PM on February 3, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: The prices are in US dollars.

The drugs she takes are exactly as given in the question, the only generic is the Beclametasone. Rest assured there are Very Good Reasons, very very well-thought-out reasons why these are exactly the name brands, concentrations, and package sizes she gets.
posted by mysterious_stranger at 9:35 PM on February 3, 2016

Have you checked the manufacturer's website for each drug? I take Elequis (a blood thinner), which would usually be $300 a month, but costs $10 thanks to a discount card from the manufacturer.
posted by MsMolly at 9:46 PM on February 3, 2016 [2 favorites]

Actually, it might be worth investigating whether the manufacturers have income-giveaway/discount programs. I had some experience with this, but quite a long time ago, and each manufacturer had their own criteria, with some being incredibly generous, and red-tape free.
posted by Violet Blue at 11:13 PM on February 3, 2016

My ophthalmologist also recommended
posted by davcoo at 5:42 AM on February 4, 2016

Unfortunately, many of those manufacturer savings cards or discount card programs--that cap the patient out of pocket cost at the retail point of sale--exclude folks who have coverage through Medicare, Medicaid, and other government programs. And, they often exclude specific states, too. But, it's definitely worth a shot!

I've had great luck with asking for samples of EVERYTHING when I see my doctors. My GI was very generous with samples of Dexilant, for example, because he knew it was an expensive fill. I think we've received QVAR samples at my daughter's allergist. My best tips for this are: Ask for samples, and ask for more than one sample.

Finally, there are lots of prescription savings cards for cash-paying patients available out there. You may need one for one med, and another for another med. I pick them up at doctor's offices all the time, and the great pharmacy techs at my local pharmacy have 7 or 8 they run through when I'm buying my dog's prescription meds. AARP, AAA, and other membership organizations frequently offer this type of card; my county even offers one to its citizens. (The pharmacy pays a small commission to each card plan once a prescription is filled, in case you are wondering why there's such a proliferation of these cards about.)

My plan of attack would be:

1. Samples from the doctor--ALWAYS. Call today and see if it's possible to pick up samples from the office if there's no visit set soon.

2. Manufacturer savings/discount cards--evaluate eligibility for each med's program, which is available on their website.

3. Prescription savings cards--check out which organizations might offer these to your mother.

4. Have a chat with a local pharmacist who may be able to offer suggestions for savings. Pharmacists want patients compliant with their medications. I've been pleasantly surprised with my pharmacists and their quests to save me money. They want your repeat business, after all.
posted by FergieBelle at 6:47 AM on February 4, 2016

Many municipalities offer discount cards to their residents. Contacting the town/city hall or even just Googling its name and "prescription discount card" should yield info.
posted by gnomeloaf at 7:52 AM on February 4, 2016

Best answer: I get my meds through Maple Leaf, which is (obviously) based in Canada. It's way cheaper than what my meds cost in the US, even with my insurance. You take a photo of your script, email it to them, then to pay they have several options. Their customer service is great. It takes 2 weeks or so to get a shipment.
posted by ananci at 11:35 AM on February 4, 2016

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