Pharmacist answering questions
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One Question For Your Pharmacist That Could Save You Money

You drive up to the pharmacy window to pick up your meds.  This of course occurs following your 30 minute wait while the person in line in front of you has managed to drop his prescription bags out of his car.  While the wait is frustrating, watching the contortions this guy has to endure to squeeze his body between the car and the wall, well let's just say, more prescriptions are in his future.  But I digress. . .

You ask for your meds . . . pharmacist asks for your co-pay . . . you hand over your insurance card to pay.  Question:  what did you forget to ask the pharmacist?

How about this question:  "Would it be cheaper for me if I bought these pills for cash and didn't use my insurance card?"

There was a recent study that showed that about 25% of pharmacy prescriptions involve drugs where the patient co-pay exceeded the cost of the drug!  This is more likely to occur in generic versus brand-name drugs.  But the cost savings can be meaningful to you if you just ask.

These are some of the drugs where this overpayment occurs most frequently:

  1. Zolpidem tartrate (for insomnia such as Ambien);
  2. Amlodipine besylate (calcium channel blockers for hypertension like Norvasc);
  3. Flurazepam hydrochloride (for insomnia);
  4. Cheratussin (narcotic cough suppressant);
  5. Temazepam (sedative such as Restoril).

Any questions about this study, email me at and check out other important information at