I recently had an informative online exchange with pharmacist Eric Geyer, BSPS, PharmD, RPh, about some of the pros and cons of shopping around for pharmacies.
While it is hard to argue against finding the best price for each medication, keep in mind the potential associated costs . . .
Using more than one pharmacy:
- Multiple pharmacy stops are a hassle and time-consuming.
- A pharmacist can’t fully guard you against drug-to-drug interactions without knowing all the medications that you are taking.
Using mail-order pharmacies:
- You can expect prolonged delays for prescription changes.
- The personal touch of a good local pharmacy cannot be matched.
- A distant pharmacy can’t loan you a few extra pills in an emergency or while waiting for your doctor to address a refill need.
- Prior authorization issues for new prescriptions cannot be handled promptly.
- It is much more difficult to reach a mail-order pharmacist if you have questions about your medications.
I am an advocate for reducing your out-of-pocket costs for medications and care. Just make sure that you are not giving up more than you are saving.
Thanks for the tips Eric!
Stephen Meyers, MD