PharmacyChecker Blog

Helping Americans Get The Truth About Prescription Drug Savings
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Plavix Choice Card Program Tries A Doctor’s Patience

Update: 7/17/2012

When we initially published this blog post, Dr. Stephen Barrett from had reported significant difficulties using the Plavix Choice Card program. Dr. Barrett subsequently communicated these problems to Bristol-Myers Squib and Sanofi. On July 13th, Dr. Barrett reported that the problems had been fixed and concluded that the program is now a great way to save money on Plavix. For more, see

Buying Plavix at the cash price from your local pharmacy can run you about $2,500 per year! While the drug has recently gone off-patent and a generic version (clopidogrel) is available, the price of the first generic on the market is not much lower. Drug companies offer programs that purport to help Americans acquire the brand name version cheaply – Bristol-Meyers Squibb and Sanofi, the companies that market Plavix, offer the Plavix Choice Card Program. However, Dr. Stephen Barrett, a consumer advocate, recently tried using this program and found it unbelievably complicated – if not impossible – to use.

Dr. Stephen Barrett shares his Plavix Choice Card Program experience on his website We encourage you to read about it.

Another low-cost way to get this medication is through verified international online pharmacies. Below is a chart comparing prices from a local retail pharmacy in New York, a U.S. based online pharmacy, and from a pharmacy listed on As you can see, the savings using an international online pharmacy is even greater (86% savings) than with the Plavix discount program (82% savings). What’s more, unlike the discount program, you don’t have to “qualify” to get the savings.

Drug Prices For 3-Month Supply of Plavix (75 mg)

Local Retail Pharmacy* U.S. Online Pharmacy** Plavix Card Discount Program International Online Pharmacy on
Price $634.00 $585.00 $111.00 $88.20
Difference From Cash Price $49.00 $523.00 $545.80
Percent Savings 7.73% 82.49% 86.09%

* Pharmacy in New York City, price collected 6/11/2011
**, price collected 6/11/2012

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New Phone App to Help Americans Save at U.S. Pharmacies

A new and portable strategy for saving money on prescription drugs has just hit the market with the LowestMed app from Our research finds that the most substantial savings consumers can expect are for generic medications, but far less so when it comes to expensive brand named drugs.

To help American consumers “Find the lowest price… fast” at a local chain pharmacy, LowestMed has created a free smartphone application that uses the current location of your phone to find the nearest pharmacy with the lowest price on a prescription drug that you need. According to the Washington Post, “LowestMed also comes with a free discount card, which can further reduce the price of a medication by between 10 and 85 percent.”

Testing out this new savings strategy, we find that a 30-day supply of Lisinopril 10mg can cost anywhere from $10.00 (Target) to $36.63 (CVS) – the app not only helps you find the $26.63 savings – 73% but also to map the location for you.


While savings like those on Lisinopril are great, many consumers may need to turn to verified international pharmacies when shopping for big brand names. Thirty tablets of Plavix 75mg, for example, cost $197.64 at the cheapest bricks and mortar pharmacy on, $205.10 at the most expensive. Saving $7.46 per month is nice, but saving $153.10 is not only much better but necessary for some Americans who could simply cannot afford the U.S. price! Plavix costs just $52 for a month supply at the lowest priced international pharmacy in the Verification program – a savings of 74%!

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The Patent Cliff Means U.S. Pharmacies are Increasingly a Lower Cost Option

Generic prescriptions are on the rise, as doctors are prescribing them, and pharmacies are filling them, now more than ever. We recently wrote that the percentage of generic scripts being dispensed rose to 78% last year. But the popularity for generics – attributed to the significantly lower price tag compared to brand name drugs – is expected to take on a whole new meaning, as the patents for some blockbuster brand name drugs expire this year; this is also known as the “Patent Cliff”.

The biggest prize, Pfizer’s Lipitor (for Cholesterol), the number one selling drug in the U.S., goes generic later this year (November 2011); and Plavix (a blood thinner) and Actos (for Diabetes) will follow (May 2012 and August 2012, respectively). As patents run out, these and other popular prescription drugs will be far more affordable in the U.S., since generic drug prices tend to be lower here than in other countries. (more…)

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