NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Before you check out at the pharmacy you may want to check your smartphone.
New free phone apps are offering price matching on prescription drugs, possibly saving you big bucks in a matter of minutes, CBS2’s Jessica Layton reported Thursday.
Before Daniel Beliavsky even walks inside his favorite pharmacy, he looks on his phone to make sure he’s getting the best deal.
“I had to pick up a drug that cost I think $500 with insurance. So it cuts down from $500 to $100,” Beliavsky said.
The phone app that helped him is called GoodRx.
Nearly 8 million Americans a month us the app to track and compare prescription drug prices. It also offers coupons at every pharmacy in the country. Even if you have insurance you can get a deal.
GoodRx co-founder Doug Hirsch said all Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs are offered through his company.
“Consumers will usually save well over 60 percent … and sometimes have drugs that even are free,” Hirsch said.
Experts say the reason why some pharmacies are more expensive than others is because they buy from a middle man instead of the prescription drug supplier.
A recent Consumer Reports survey found 55 percent of Americans regularly take prescription medicine.
“A shocking number of people aren’t filling those prescriptions because of price,” said Robin Hilmantel, digital director at Women’s Health magazine.
“You might assume that a prescription costs what it costs, but it can actually be up to 16 times more at one pharmacy versus the other,” Hilmantel added.
She said there’s plenty of free, online tools that can help save you money. There is WeRx, which similar to the driving app, Waze. Users report how much money they spend on medication and where they get it. NeedyMeds offers information on patient assistance programs. And in New York City, there’s Capsule, which offers free two-hour delivery.
“It will tell you exactly what your co-pay is before you scheduled delivery, so you don’t have that feeling of sticker shock,” Hilmantel said.
By using these tools, the only thing that will shock you is how much you can save.
Experts say you should always ask for generic medication right off the bat to save the most money.