Saturday, April 28, 2007

Price Swings for Generic & OTC Drugs

Yesterday driving to an enrollment meetings I notice the Claritin advertised for $17.99 for a 30 day supply at Walgreens. A Froogle search after stopping shows a 600 day supply is available for $32.70 with shipping included.

The WSJ Health Blog recently pointed out
the wide swings on the generic version of Ambien.

A Rite Aid spokesman tells Health Blog that generic Ambien will be available chain-wide today. A 30-pill supply of both the 5 milligram and 10 milligram doses will retail for $124.99. That’s a hefty markup over the wholesale prices–ranging from $9.74 to $25.01 for 100 tablets–that Health Blog found Tuesday. The margins on generics make them among pharmacies’ most-profitable lines of business. will be offering the generic sleeping pills as early as next week. The Web site partners with Rite Aid and handles the pharmacy chain’s online prescriptions. Prices are likely to be in line with store prices, the Rite Aid spokesman says.

For those not too exhausted to hunt for a bargain, online pharmacy is offering a 30-day generic supply of the 5 mg dose for $15; the 10 mg dose is $19.50.

Obviously it pays not to be too exhausted to search for lower costs.

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