Rx Drugs: Paying the Price

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pills in hand2 Rx Drugs: Paying the PriceNancy Nall Reporting

One of the most expensive items in a senior’s budget is prescription drugs. Even if you have insurance coverage, it pays to be aware of what individual pharmacies charge for your medications. The state of Michigan offers help with its Rx Drug Finder, but Attorney General Mike Cox says the site needs closer monitoring. 

An investigation by Cox’s office showed prices for commonly prescribed drugs varied wildly, even at pharmacies within a few miles of each other. Investigators reported prices for Ambien, a sleep aid, and Avandia, prescribed for diabetes, often varied by as much as $100 in the same city. Yet neither drug’s price is reported on the Rx Drug Finder, which only tracks 30 drugs. 

Cox said the website needs to be expanded to track pricing on more drugs, and be updated more often. At a press conference, Cox said the site’s shortcomings were a “tragedy” for Michigan residents, “who are, quite literally, paying the price.” 

The Rx Drug Finder allows users to get drug prices at pharmacies closest to their homes, and offers links to other assistance programs. However, Cox said, seniors and uninsured residents need more help to find the best prices.

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