OK, using the word "bargain" next to "prescription" may be a little too much in a world where some drugs cost hundreds of dollars per month. Still, if you're a regular buyer of prescription drugs, you'll want to go about your purchases in the most cost-effective manner.
You probably have a local pharmacy where you buy all your medications. Maybe it's a Walgreens (NYSE: WAG ) , CVS (NYSE: CVS ) , Rite Aid (NYSE: RAD ) , or even your local supermarket or Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT ) . You may not realize it, but asking for a generic version isn't enough. Prices can vary widely from pharmacy to pharmacy in the same area. To get some specific examples, I tapped the services of myfloridarx.com, a website that compares prices of drugs in Florida. Here are some stats for Boca Raton:
- For 40 mg of Nexium (quantity: 30), I found a price of around $140 at a Wal-Mart, $155 at a CVS, $267 at a Suncoast Pharmacy, and $173 at a Walgreens.
- Between CVS and Walgreens, you could save $6 to $8 on an order of Singulair and $13 on an order of Zocor.
Another way to offset your net expenses on medications is to make some money on drugs -- by investing in drug-related firms such as drug wholesalers McKesson (NYSE: MCK ) and Cardinal Health (NYSE: CAH ) , pharmaceutical giant Merck (NYSE: MRK ) , and the like. Here are some recent articles to get you started:
- McKesson's New Pep Pill
- Cardinal Looks to Deliver
- Merck Goes on the Attack
- Walgreen's Prescription for Growth
- Rite Aid Regains Respectability
And finally, if you're excited by the prospect of saving more of your hard-earned dollars, check out our brand-new personal finance newsletter service, GreenLight. Packed with terrific ideas and guidance, GreenLight is written by some of our smartest, wittiest writers and analysts.