Saturday, August 18, 2012

Rootlessness and Health Care, Part 2: Drug Prices

In Part 1, I talked about health insurance and some ideas on where to get affordable health care.

Today, I got a fresh reminder of the importance of checking prices for prescription drugs.

Last week, I had need of an antibiotic. The generic version of same was filled at Walgreen's (my usual place) for $12.66.

Today I refilled the prescription at Walmart. Same generic version of the drug. Same dosage. Same quantity. Four bucks.


I did learn about six months ago that sometimes a prescription drug and an over-the-counter (OTC) drug might be identical in composition and dosage, but you may pay significantly more for the drug if you buy it as the prescription rather than the OTC.

Take omeprazole, for example. You can buy OTC Prilosec (which is a brand name for omeprazole), 20 mg. for far less than if you fill a prescription for the exact same thing, assuming you don't have insurance coverage for meds. Crazy, eh?

Note: Verify with the pharmacist that the OTC version is the same as the prescription. By the same, I mean that it's not only the same drug, but that it "deploys" in your body the same way as the prescription. 

Kiowa County Hospital post-tornado in Greensburg, Kansas. October 2007.

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