The Free Tool You Should Be Using Before You Fill a Prescription at CVS or Walgreens

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If you’re like many people, when you need a prescription filled, you go to CVS, Walgreens or a similar pharmacy near your home.

Money expert Clark Howard says that those big pharmacy chains are not your best option when it comes to saving money. Even for generic prescription drugs, you typically can beat the prices you find at your local pharmacy, even when you use your health insurance.

Save on Your Prescriptions With This Free Tool

“The insurers are taking advantage of people thinking that using the drug benefit with your insurance plan for generics will absolutely be cheaper than other ways of buying prescription drugs. Actually, it is now very much the opposite,” Clark says.

Thankfully, there is a simple way for you to save money on the prescriptions you buy. It's called GoodRx.

GoodRx is a website and app (Android and iOS) that allows you to compare the prices of prescription medications. You don't need insurance to use it. The free tool also lets you:

  • Search for popular prescription drugs.
  • Find all the pharmacies in your area.
  • Select which dosage and quantity of the drug you need.
  • Search prices based on medication and pharmacy.

From a quick search on GoodRx, you can see how much you could save by comparing one pharmacy versus the other based on price.

For example, according to GoodRx, as of December 2021, the lowest price for the most common version of atorvastatin (Lipitor) is around $4.50, 93% off the average retail price of $69.33.

When I looked up a 30-tablet (40mg) prescription for atorvastatin, GoodRx generated coupons for the following prices:

  • CVS: $28.05
  • Kroger Pharmacy: $10.29
  • Publix: $8.25
  • Walgreens: $21.15
  • Walmart: $15
  • Costco: $13.56
Combined ShapeCaption
Screenshot via GoodRx app

Screenshot via GoodRx app

Combined ShapeCaption
Screenshot via GoodRx app

The comparison above clearly shows that Publix has the cheapest price for that particular medication in my area. Of course, prices will vary depending on which medications you need and where you shop.

Final Thoughts

Clark says, “Know that the insurance companies are taking advantage of you. And it’s why anytime I’m filling a prescription, I compare the GoodRx price versus what it would be otherwise.”

As for which pharmacy has the best prescription drug prices in his experience, Clark has a clear favorite.

“If you look on GoodRx consistently, the cheapest place to fill a prescription drug is Costco Wholesale. And Costco has to let you fill a prescription even if you’re not a member,” he says.

Want to save on prescriptions? Here are 10 things to know about GoodRx.

More Resources From Clark.com:

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