Cost of medications

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Did you know that prescription drugs are sometimes less expensive than over-the-counter versions?

As I searched in the pharmacy for Imodium® 2mg, an over-the-counter antidiarrheal agent that every traveler carries, I was flabbergasted by its cost. Not only would I have to pay its inflated price, I also would have to fork over the 8.8% sales tax, since prescription drugs in the state of Washington are free of sales tax but over-the-counter items are not.

I asked the pharmacy to quote me a price on loperamide 2 mg, the generic equivalent, which is only available by prescription. Lo and behold, it was considerably cheaper than the Imodium®.

As another example, when I bought Amlactin 12% cream, I had to pay $14.69; however, when I asked the pharmacist if he could give it to me as a prescription, the cost was $12.50.

Did you know that usually it is much cheaper and just as safe to buy the store brand of a medication rather than the manufacturer’s brand? (For instance, Walgreen’s aspirin versus Bayer.)

PHILIP WAGENAAR, M.D.
Contributing Editor

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

Did you know that prescription drugs are sometimes less expensive than over-the-counter versions?

As I searched in the pharmacy for Imodium® 2mg, an over-the-counter antidiarrheal agent that every traveler carries, I was flabbergasted by its cost. Not only would I have to pay its inflated price, I also would have to fork over the 8.8% sales tax, since prescription drugs in the state of Washington are free of sales tax but over-the-counter items are not.

I asked the pharmacy to quote me a price on loperamide 2 mg, the generic equivalent, which is only available by prescription. Lo and behold, it was considerably cheaper than the Imodium®.

As another example, when I bought Amlactin 12% cream, I had to pay $14.69; however, when I asked the pharmacist if he could give it to me as a prescription, the cost was $12.50.

Did you know that usually it is much cheaper and just as safe to buy the store brand of a medication rather than the manufacturer’s brand? (For instance, Walgreen’s aspirin versus Bayer.)

PHILIP WAGENAAR, M.D.
Contributing Editor