Prescriptions may be cheaper without insurance!

Written by on December 14, 2017 in prescriptions with 3 Comments

Add this to your list of weird things about healthcare, but the NY Times has an article today highlighting that in some cases you are better off not to use your medical insurance when filling a prescription.

In particular the article notes that for one rosacea sufferer, her prescription of a “lotion called sulfacetamide sodium” was going to cost $99.03, but that without using her insurance it would cost $75.57 – for the same prescription at the same pharmacy.

This script mentioned in the article was likely Plexion, Clenia or Prascion. A foam based cleanser – Clarifoam also uses 10% sodium sulfacetamide and 5% sulfur.

Finding the cheapest path to your preferred rosacea treatment just got that much harder!

Preescription Drugs May Cost More With Insurance Than Without It

By CHARLES ORNSTEIN and KATIE THOMAS DEC. 9, 2017

This article was written through collaboration between The New York Times and
ProPublica, the independent, nonprofit investigative journalism organization.

Having health insurance is supposed to save you money on your prescriptions. But increasingly, consumers are finding that isn’t the case.

Patrik Swanljung found this out when he went to fill a prescription for a generic
cholesterol drug. In May, Mr. Swanljung handed his Medicare prescription card to
the pharmacist at his local Walgreens and was told that he owed $83.94 for a threemonth
supply.

Alarmed at that price, Mr. Swanljung went online and found Blink Health, a
start-up, offering the same drug — generic Crestor — for $45.89.

Still, many find that leaving their prescription card at home is worth it. Some
have found a better deal even at pharmacies that are owned by their drug plan, like
CVS.

Susan Thomson, 55, a university lecturer who lives in Summit, N.J., is covered
by a high-deductible plan through her former employer. Her drug benefits are
managed by CVS Caremark, a subsidiary of CVS Health. For at least a decade, she’s
been using a prescription lotion called sulfacetamide sodium to treat rosacea, a skin
condition.

Last year, each time she filled her prescription at a CVS, she paid $75.07.
Checking the CVS Caremark website this year, she learned that the cost had gone up
to $99.03 (or $81.51 if she used CVS’s mail order service).

Investigating further, she found that GoodRx offered the same prescription at
the same drugstore for $75.57, without her insurance. The prices were even lower at
other pharmacies.

“It just doesn’t seem right,” she said. “I just feel that the pharmaceutical
industry and health care industry are pulling these numbers out of thin air.”

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About the Author

About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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3 Reader Comments

  1. Bonnie says:

    I bought Metro gel 1% here in the USA – Pemnnsylvania. $169.00.

    Went to Spain in October. Bought the exact same med, same producer, same strength, OVER THE COUNTER, in a corner drug store/Pharmacia, for $5.00.

  2. David Pascoe says:

    Comment via facebook post.

    “Thank you for this info. My dermatologist gave me 12 mini samples of Plexion. Each tube has been lasting me about a month. This medication is working very well for the dermatitis I get around my mouth & chin. I’ll keep your info in mind if I have to get a prescription filled.”

  3. Nice article to point out. Drug prices are all over the map and it pays to do homework.

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