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Prescription Drug Prices and “GoodRx”

Pills or Supplements can get expensive, and GoodRx.Com can help.

You may have been dealing with Prescription Drug Price being higher these days. What with supply chain difficulties, staffing, and competition, both drug companies and merchants (like Walgreens, Fred Meyer Pharmacy) are all “adjusting their prices”. These adjustments occur at the same time that the insurers are cutting your coverage. Haven’t noticed this? YOu had better read the fine print. This blog will discuss an interesting resource I have found, and also mention a little background as to how Blue Heron Chiropractic and Dr. Dana Sibilla, DC DABCO FIANM approaches the real world of real medicines versus supplements. 

Are prescription prices crazy?

I was shown a harsh reality when someone I know tried to pick up a prescription at a local drugstore. The prescription as written by their Medical Doctor was for 90 tablets. The patient had heard that their insurance would not cover that drug, but if they did cover, the co-pay would be about $50. At the pharmacy, the pharmacist apologized that they had changed the prescription – there were only 6 pills in the bottle.. And the out-of-pocket bill was going to be $273!  Now, that’s $45 a tablet. What the heck, you say?

What kind of an option is GoodRx?

A little further research with the pharmacist determined that as written, the prescription would be $4400 out of pocket .Yep, $45 a tablet. Not going to work. Luckily, the pharmacist, who was a good sport, advised the patient to check out GoodRx.com. GoodRx is not an insurance provider, but is capable of working with the pharmacy to get a huge discount with a “coupon”, specific to your prescription drug, and downloaded to your phone or printed out. There may be a couple of these out there, but these guys may be best-in-class.

What are some details about using Good Rx? Could a senior do it?

It took the patient about 2 minutes – right there in the store – to register for GoodRx for free on their cell phone – show the pharmacist the free “coupon” on the screen (no need to even download it) and get the discount. How much was the discount and was it worth it?

Here is the deal. That Rx, which would have cost $4,400 cash – now, with the “coupon  number” the 90 pills were.. (drum roll)… $20. Total and in the bag and out the door.  Yep. Go GoodRx!  And yes – even an internet-clumsy senior could do this

Not all pharmacy chains give the same discount with a  GoodRx Coupon, which is pharmacy-specific.

I went and checked this out and found a couple of other details. First, the initial offering of a coupon on GoodRx is going to be a default form and strength of the drug. You can “edit” the coupon and change the number of pills and the strength, which should  match your prescription.  The other and VERY important detail, is each chain of pharmacies has a different relationship for GoodRx and their ability to discount. They show the discount amounts right on the screen. If your prescription went to the most expensive discounter, then just get it switched to another chain. In the example above, the discount price at Walgreens was $65. At Rite Aid, it was $20. At Fred Meyer, $37. In this case, Rite Aid called and got the Rx switched from Walgreens.  Patient clicked box for Rite-Aid at GoodRx.com, new coupon. Done at $20… at $4,380 savings.

I don’t own any stock in GoodRx (although maybe I should look into that?). They have not paid us anything to say this – cut that noise out, LOL.

Why is a chiropractor talking about prescriptions?

How does Blue Heron Chiropractic – an Alternative Care Clinic at 1934 Northeast Broadway in Portland –  approach prescription drugs? That’s a great question. Well, I notice a lot of alternative care providers try to make all the other options for care “vanish” like they don’t exist. For example, if you come in for a motor vehicle accident collision injury (a car wreck), a work injury, or pain from regular activities of daily living – if you walked in to a generic chiropractor – they might not even mention your medical options like I strive to do. They might not even talk about “Ibuprofen”, because they believe “Turmeric” is so much better. This suggests you will “die” with ibuprofen, and “thrive” with Turmeric, and I just don’t believe that. It’s just not real. So, as an integrated provider – an integrated provider who provides ideally more direct, effective or tolerable alternative options – I may suggest you a supplement but I won’t ever un-prescribe your prescription. I dispense a few supplements in-clinic. Importantly, I will always go with what is the most efficacious way of getting the patient what they need. If someone’s cholesterol is off the chart, and dietary changes, supplement options and exercise have not helped, then I am not going to roll my eyes if you are taking a statin, for example. It’s true we might pay attention to unprecedented increases in myofascial pain, but we will just pay attention to it. In the meantime, I want you to get the best prices on what you need to make your choices easy.

How is Blue Heron handling the COVID-19 Pandemic at this time?

Doctor Sibilla and all staff you will encounter are fully vaccinated with updated boosters; Dana’s on his fifth shot to date. We are still currently masking inside the clinic, as is required for all health care facilities. If you don’t have an appropriate mask, we will provide you with one. Access Chiropractic safely and securely at Blue Heron Chiropractic & Healing Arts Center, with Dr. Dana Sibilla, DC DABCO FIANM.

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