COLORADO — The high cost of prescription drugs is a big issue for many people not just in Colorado, but nationwide.
The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing lists several resources consumers may not know about, including a savings program through GoodRx.
“GoodRx is trying to make healthcare both convenient and affordable for all Americans," GoodRx Co-Founder and Co-CEO Doug Hirsch said. "As we know, healthcare is very broken in this country and too often people end up at the pharmacy or doctor’s office with simply a price they can’t afford.”
Hirsch says his web site has helped Americans save over $35 billion on prescription medication.
“We bring together discounts and try to make healthcare like all the other industries a consumer uses like comparing prices on cars and travel—but we do it on healthcare and you can save huge amounts of money, even if you have insurance.”
Hirsch walked News 5 through how easy it is to obtain discounts on medication.
“You literally just type a drug name in the search box and the site will then give you a list of pharmacies near you," he said. "You choose the pharmacy, get a free coupon and you show it at the pharmacy counter—it’s super simple and it costs nothing.”
Hirsch says drug prices vary widely from pharmacy to pharmacy. His statement was confirmed in a recent Consumer Reports publication that compared common drug costs and various pharmacies.
For example, Consumer Reports found Duloxetine, a drug for depression costs $14.90 through Amazon's pharmacy. The same medication costs $8.99 at Costco and $1.50 at Scriptco.com.
Keep in mind, some pharmacy locations do have annual membership fees and it's something to consider when comparing costs.
Regardless of whether you have insurance, Hirsch says GoodRx may still save consumers money.
“There’s almost 20 million people monthly who use GoodRx and 75-percent of those people have insurance but are still paying too much," he said.
News 5 also met with Dr. Gina Moore, Associate Dean and Associate Professor at the University of Colorado Skaggs School of Pharmacy.
She says websites like GoodRx are a legitimate way to find discount drug coupons.
“I think there are tens of thousands of people who don’t know about it," she said. " A lot of times you need a medication, you don’t think about the cost and whether it’s going to be significantly different from one place to another.”
If you're not interested in going to a third-party site to download coupons, Moore says you can still save money by talking with your doctor.
"Take generic every time," she said. "I do. There's very few reasons to take a brand name drug. They are the exact same active ingredient."
In addition to GoodRx, the state provided these discount drug resources: