Do You Use Prescription Medication?Posted: September 20, 2013
Do you have an opinion about Walgreens?
I didn’t until my sudden cardiac arrest two months ago. Now I have an opinion, which is that, based on a extensive sample size of one (me), Walgreens drastically overcharges for prescription medication. Many people would say “they ripped me off.” Because I’m fairly laizze faire, I don’t think people are ripped off generally; they are ill-informed. But I say Walgreens toed the line.
The day of my discharge, I stopped at Walgreens for prescription medications ordered by my cardiologist. I assumed Walgreens, the friendly neighborhood pharmacy with a national presence, would price their medication similarly to other stores that sell it. I assumed wrongly.
And while you may be conversant in the prescription medication world, I am not. At least I wasn’t until …
… Walgreen’s charged me $92 for prescriptions I’ve now found elsewhere for about $30. Charge me 10% more for a can of soda and I say “market principles”. Charge me 200% more for medicine, and I’m angry. And just for fun I Googled “Walgreens prescription drug price gouging” and came up with some interesting hits.
Do I think Walgreens is price gouging? No–not according to my definition of price gouging, which is a temporary, excessive price inflation due to a sudden, temporary event. (Think $10/gallon gas preceding a hurricane.) And my experience was a single episode. But it was a bitter pill to swallow upon learning of the price variance. (Easy pun intended.)
(You’re probably thinking, “Boy, Dan, you are naive. EVERYONE knows to shop around for medication. Get with the program and stop whining.”)
I have three points here:
1) I don’t know as much about how the world works as I profess to;
2) Shop around for your prescription medications–even if you find yourself hurried to get them.
3) Watch out if you shop at Walgreens and beware their friendly, smiley pharmacists, who I’m certain are just doing their jobs while charging unsophisticated consumers–me included–excessive prices for important products.
That is all.