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Old 04-04-2008, 02:40 PM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 1
All I want is some Viagra... how to get prices?

This is not a spam! I actually have a question about Viagra...

How do I comparison shop prescription drug prices? How do insurance prescription drug benefits work?

I take my handy prescription and insurance card and go to walmart first. There they say they can't "run" my insurance card and can only give me the cash price (i.e. no insurance) of the medicine in question ($13 per pill). Ok, so then I head over to walgreens. There they offer to run my insurance card, so it turns out that after some insurance magic, it turns out that I only have to pay $40 for eight pills, and the insurance will only cover eight pills per month. I also ask walgreens for their cash price, it's $19 per pill.

So I figure walmart will be cheaper after running the insurance, so I go back to walmart and drop my prescription. They tell me they cannot give me a price until they "run" the insurance, and at walmart they run it overnight, so I have to come back the next day to pick up the meds.

Today I go to walmart, and the check out price is $104 for eight pills! Basically they charged me the cash price? Or maybe the insurance company declined walmart but accepted walgreens? Or maybe my eight pill per month quota was used up at walgreens, even though I didn't buy the drugs at walgreens? Or maybe walmart is not connected to the insurance system? Or maybe the walmart people "ran" my insurance wrong? Does anybody know how this screwed up system in america works?

I went back to walgreens and told them to transfer my prescription there. I'm going back later today to find out what price they're going to give me now. So, how does one go about comparison shopping prescription drugs?
Old 04-04-2008, 02:54 PM
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Waltham, MA
Posts: 985
There should be a phone number or website on your card that says to "To find a pharmacy." From there, you'll get a list of places that are in network for you. For most policies, it won't matter which of those you go to, the price will be the same. Your carrier should be able to tell you what that price is. My guess is that Walmart doesn't accept your insurance and they charged you full price. Generally, "running" someone's insurance is very quick. They verify it by phone, fax or internet. The process takes five to ten minutes, in my experience.

In terms of the cheapest place to fill prescriptions without insurance is Costco. By far. They usually run 10 to 20 percent cheaper than anywhere else in town.
If you torture data sufficiently, it will confess to almost anything. -Fred Menger, chemistry professor (1937- )
Old 04-04-2008, 02:59 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Santa Barbara, California
Posts: 15,173
Originally Posted by gfloyd
In terms of the cheapest place to fill prescriptions without insurance is Costco. By far. They usually run 10 to 20 percent cheaper than anywhere else in town.
Agreed, with one exception. See if your insurance has a mail order program. The last few insurers I have had did and they will usually give you three months for the price of two.

Disclaimer: This information is for my thyroid and allergy medicine. I have no need for nor do I have a prescription for Viagra.
Old 04-04-2008, 05:40 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 30
Insurance varies, I actually had one Humana plan that charged me $25 for ALL prescriptions. I got some penicillian for a bad tooth and Walgreens charged me $25.00 for it. I said "how much without the insurance. Walgreens said "$6.99" So I told them screw the first one and I had the dentist call in another prescription and paid cash. Osco Drugs did the same thing to me on a Unicare plan charging me FULL co-payment when the drug was only around $5.00 cash.

Viagra isn't covered in some plans or it's limited the same way birth control pills aren't always covered or in some plans birth control is only covered if you do the mail order thing.
Old 04-04-2008, 05:49 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Orlando
Posts: 3,927
Try mexico online. Do a search. Usually $6-9 per pill for the strongest strength so you can cut them in half.
Old 04-05-2008, 12:49 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: East Coast of USA
Posts: 3,285
I get offers for cheap Viagra all the time, and I don't even want any.
Old 04-05-2008, 01:19 AM
Join Date: May 1999
Location: 1313 Mockingbird Lane
Posts: 7,471
Wait- what? Did you or did you not have it filled at Walgreens? If they submitted it to your insurance company and filled it for $40, does that mean you said "OK never mind" and left it there? How did Wal-Mart "run" anything if you already filled it at Walgreens? Or did Walgreens just check on your insurance coverage price and not fill it?

For future reference, you can call your insurance company to find out what drugs are covered and how much your co-pay is. You can also telephone pharmacies and get their cash prices most of the time, and sometimes they're available online.

Just fill the prescription at Walgreens for $40 and be done with it. I don't see the issue. The people at Wal-Mart sound like they have their heads up their asses with their "can't run your insurance' BS, BTW.

If by some chance Walgreens price checked your prescription and the insurance company thinks it was filled and picked up, they can reverse that transaction and just fill the prescription like they never did anything previously.

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