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How a prescription discount service works.

GoodRx instead provided a link to Advil prices on Amazon. Several of the pharmacies that it recommended we visit were in New Jersey and even upper Manhattan, about 20 miles away from us. This article and related materials are made possible by a grant from the state Attorney General Consumer and Prescriber Education Grant Program, which is funded by the multi-state settlement of consumer-fraud claims regarding the marketing of the prescription drug Neurontin gabapentin.

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The GoodRx app is worth a try. Prices can also vary widely from month to month when consumers pay cash, he said. Drug-discount cards have been around for decades, and retailers like Walmart have also offered cheap generic drug programs, but both were mainly used by people without insurance. That is changing. Even as more Americans have health insurance since the Affordable Care Act was passed, insurers are increasingly asking consumers to pay a larger share of their costs.

In , about five million people in Medicare hit a stage in which they had to pick up a greater share of their expenses. Reporters at ProPublica and The New York Times examined whether they could get better prices on of the most prescribed drugs, identified by GoodRx, without using their insurance. Blink Health also sometimes beat the insurance out-of-pocket costs, but less often than GoodRx.

Blink Health recently suffered a series of setbacks when two of the largest drugstore chains, CVS and Walgreens, stopped accepting its discounts, along with a grocery chain, Publix. In November, Blink Health sued its pharmacy benefit manager, which negotiates its prices, claiming that the company, MedImpact, had violated their agreement. MedImpact has not yet formally responded to the allegations in federal court in New York.

GoodRx, a private company founded in , displays the deals it has with nine pharmacy benefit managers, each offering different prices for different drugs. The New York Times would like to hear from people about their experiences paying for prescription drugs. Brad Wainer, a family-practice doctor in Berwyn, Ill.

Consumers may also pay more if they are covered by plans that require them to pay a set co-payment, no matter the cash price. In some of those cases, the insurers require the pharmacies to send them the difference between what they collect from the consumer and what the insurers have agreed to reimburse the pharmacies. After a New Orleans television station, WVUE, reported last year on this practice, known as a clawback, lawyers across the country filed lawsuits accusing the insurers — including Cigna, Humana and UnitedHealthcare — of overcharging consumers.

The companies are contesting the suits. Several independent pharmacists said there might be safety issues if consumers buy drugs at different pharmacies.

If those prescriptions are filled without an insurance card, pharmacy systems may not catch dangerous drug interactions. Mary Furman, a retired medical social worker in Charlotte, N. Furman, who is Furman took the deal, and afterward, her husband, Nelson, called SilverScript to report what happened.

The representative told Mr. The couple then reported the experience to a company hired by Medicare to investigate fraud, but a representative encouraged her to contact the health plan again. After reporters sent details of Mrs. Furman said they received a call from the SilverScript president.

GoodRX and Controlled Substances | Student Doctor Network

DeAngelis, the CVS spokesman, blamed the pharmacy for charging the couple more than what their share should have been using their insurance. Now the Furmans are looking at drug coverage for next year, and once again, they see huge variation in prices for that drug and others. Charles Ornstein is a reporter at ProPublica. Log In. Furman said.

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