Posted: Mar 8, 2012 7:15 PM
Updated: Mar 8, 2012 11:04 PM
WESLACO - CHANNEL 5 NEWS shopped around in search of the best cash price for three prescription drug medications, birth control, depression and allergies, visiting five pharmacies in Weslaco.
We spent an hour walking in and out of five pharmacies. First up is CVS. The cash price for the Nuva Ring and 30-day supplies of Singulair and Lexapro, 10 milligrams each.
The pharmacist said we'd get a better price with health insurance, but these are the cash prices quoted by CVS: $95 for a Nuva Ring, $194.99 for Singulair and almost $200 for Lexapro. No generics were available here.
We walked into a mom and pop shop, Sage Pharmacy, open for four months. The pharmacy offers a discount for people who pay cash. The Nuva Ring runs $79, Singulair goes for $150.69 and Lexapro for a little more than $125.
Walgreens offered these prices with a discount card that costs $20 and is good for one year: Nuva Ring is nearly $84, Singulair an even $181 and Lexapro $151.50. Walgreens offers a generic for Lexapro that dropped the price to $131.99.
The pharmacist says the price differences might have something to do with the manufacturer.
HEB also offers generic Lexapro for $124.97. A one month's supply of birth control is $81. 77, and Singulair is a few pennies shine of $179.
An employee at Westgate Pharmacy didn't offer a price check. He said the pharmacy's price is in line with HEB's.
In one hour, we found CVS was the priciest, followed by Walgreens. HEB came in third while Sage Pharmacy quoted the cheapest prices
The Federal Trade Commission watches out for the consumer and offers this advice. The price you pay is based on the location. Shop around before you empty your wallets. Ask your doctor about generics. They can be 70-90 percent cheaper than name-brand medication. And if you're not satisfied with the price, take your prescription and walk away.
If you have health insurance and it covers prescription medication, your co-pay won't change based on the pharmacy price. People who don't have insurance should search pharmacies for better prices.