How much does that Lipitor cost? A new site for prescription prices

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

CHCPrescriptionBlueBook

New entry in the prescription drug comparison-shopping market: prescriptionbluebook.com.

The front page says: “We provide the wholesale cost (the price pharmacies pay) on your prescription medications. A yearly subscription to PrescriptionBlueBook.com reveals the wholesale cost on thousands of brand name and generic drugs for you, your family and even your pets!

“PrescriptionBlueBook.com also provides the ‘Fair Retail Price’ for each drug you access. It’s best not to pay more than the ‘Fair Retail Price’ for your medications.”

So it’s a subscription, for $4 a month. If you know the wholesale price, you’re able to shop around

wisely. A testimonial says: “I’m taking Arimidex for my breast cancer. I logged on to your website and learned the wholesale cost of my drug. I’m now saving $162.63 a month. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!” ~ Susan T.”

The site says it was launched in 2013, by a South Carolina pharmacist named Steve Patton. We’ve not subscribed, so can’t offer quality judgments. Also, we know less about prescription prices than about procedure prices, so we try to offer prescription resources where we find them while not making recommendations.

Others in the prescription drug universe:

NeedyMeds, a nonprofit helping people in need find medications. They have information about patient assistance programs, which typically help people with expensive medications.

Goodrx, a web site that lets you put in the name of a prescription drug and a location, then supplies a list of places that sell the drug and the prices. Often a coupon is involved, and that means money’s changing hands somewhere. The prices aren’t the lowest we’ve seen, but it certainly gives you an idea of how to shop around.

Similar sites: werx.org and coupondoc.com, and again the caveat applies about coupons.

From our other research:

Are generics always cheaper? No. Listen to our friend Leslie Ramirez from leslieslist.org.

Are those drug discount cards really a bargain? Maybe not. Listen to Richard J. Sagall, M.D., who wrote this post for costsofcare.org.

Are manufacturers coupons a bargain? Also maybe not. Joseph S. Ross, M.D., and Aaron S. Kesselheim, M.D., J.D., M.P.H. explain in the New England Journal of Medicine.