Pharmacies


All CVS Pharmacy store brands 40 percent off online

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Today and Friday (June 4-5) all of CVS’ store brands are discounted 40 percent online only. That’s a great discount on what I consider to be one of CVS’ best deals. The prices on prescription drugs, for example, are rarely price-competitive without insurance at CVS or Walgreens. But the store brands at either pharmacy retailer are an exception. At 40 percent off already low prices, you just can’t beat the prices on over-the-counter medicines, baby wipes, dental floss, bathroom tissue made from recycled paper, lotions, and even food products. Shipping is free on orders over $50. And all CVS’ private labels are guaranteed. If you’re not happy with an item, take it back to a store for a refund, even if you purchased it online.

Too bad this sale isn’t available in the stores. Usually, the store sale on private labels is “buy one, get one at half-off” which is really only a 25 percent savings. Through Saturday, the store is not discounting its own brands but that may change Sunday.

These prices beat even Drugstore.com, which offers some good deals.

Who else is a fan or CVS or Walgreens store brands?

Save 15 to 20 percent today only at Walgreens

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Print out a coupon from Walgreens for Earth Day savings today only. Save 15 percent on most items and 20 percent on Walgreens store brands. The best deals will be on sale items and store brands. Walgreens’ regular prices aren’t usually that competitive with discounters, but its sale prices are. Exclusions include dairy, liquor (Walgreens sells liquor?), postage stamps, tobacco, prescriptions, gift cards, newspapers (we need every penny) and magazines.  

Had an Rx denied by your HMO lately? Here’s my prescription to cut the cost.

Friday, February 27th, 2009

I told my doctor recently that my new health insurance company was HealthPartners and that HP had denied coverage for one of my prescriptions.  I explained to him that I was filing an appeal to get coverage. His answer was not comforting. “HP is a bunch of cheap……” I laughed when he started to swear at them.

I wasn’t laughing as hard when the denial of my appeal came in the mail as he predicted. The drug is not cheap, even though it’s generic. A 30-day supply at Target cost me $155 without insurance. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but once I realized it was an out-of-pocket expense, I started comparison shopping. A 100 day supply of the same drug was $165 at Costco, a 70 percent difference. Then I started taking my own advice and checked prices at the Minnesota Senior Federation (1-866-783-5045), which offers competitive prices for anyone, not just seniors. For this drug, the Senior Fed’s price ($135 for 30 tablets) wasn’t so competitive. Then I checked I checked Thrifty White Drug mail order in Fargo (1-866-903-5720). The price ($126 including shipping) is about 25 percent cheaper than Costco. I mailed my Rx to Thrifty and received it within a week without any problems. (I didn’t check Canadian sources because the drug is generic. Canadian prices are more competitive on brand name drugs.)

I could probably get a local pharmacy to match Thrifty’s low price, but I’m not going to do it. Why? Because then I’m taking business away from a decent pharmacy that is valiantly taking a lower profit margin. If too many people go to the competitor to price-match, Thrifty goes out of business and prices stay high. I believe in supporting the the original, low-priced business. Anecdotally, I hear about senior citizens who continue to shop at their neighhborhood Walgreens because of the personal relationship with the pharmacist. Unfortunately, Walgreens is often the highest priced pharmacy, according to my past price comparisons. In fairness, however, Walgreens’ price on my Rx was $134, slightly less than Target.

If you’re paying out of pocket for any prescription due to unemployment or a cost-cutting HMO, try Costco, Sam’s Club or Thrifty White. By the way, you do not have to be a member of Costco or Sam’s to use the pharmacy. Anyone else done a little comparison shopping on prescriptions or find themselves at odds with an HMO? Write to me.