Pharmacy prices vary widely for same big-name generics
Atorvastatin, the generic for Lipitor, is now widely prescribed to combat high cholesterol. Consumer Reports checked out prices of atorvastatin at more than 200 pharmacies, including Walgreens, CVS, Target, Walmart, and Costco, as well as independent and supermarket pharmacies and online.
Consumer Reports found that prices for atorvastatin varied tremendously depending on where you got the prescription filled. Among chain stores, atorvastatin cost the most at CVS-$150 for a month's supply. Costco had the best price, $17. You don't have to be a Costco member to use its pharmacy, and Consumer Reports found that it also had low prices for other blockbuster drugs that have recently gone generic.
Those drugs were the generics of:
- Actos (pioglitazone) for type 2 diabetes
- Lexapro (escitalopram) for depression
- Singulair (monntelukast) for asthma
- Plavix (clopidogrel), a blood thinner
With all the prescription drugs that Consumer Reports checked, CVS tended to be the most expensive. RiteAid and Target weren't much cheaper. As for Walmart, it fell somewhere in the middle of the pack. But two online retailers offered very good deals- Healthwarehouse.com and FamilyMeds.com.
And Consumer Reports says don't forget to check independent and supermarket pharmacies. In some cases, Consumer Reports found that their prices were even lower than Costco's.
No matter which drug you're prescribed, Consumer Reports says don't be afraid to talk to your doctor about costs. You may be able to get a lower-priced alternative to treat your condition.