Mail Order Meds…Do They Really Save Money?

The main appeal of mail order prescriptions, is that you appear to save money. In reality, if you do save money, your employer, or plan sponsor, picks up the bill. This could affect the benefits your employer can provide you in the future.  I wanted to get to the bottom of this topic, so I took my own generic prescriptions and compared them mail order to the local pharmacy.

As you can see in the chart below, my generic prescriptions actually cost MORE if I had filled them through the mail. I do have to pay out of pocket and send in my receipts to my insurance for reimbursement, but the savings it worth the little bit of paperwork!

DRUG

QTY / 90 DAY SUPPLY

MAIL ORDER

LOCAL PHARMACY

DIFFERENCE

Hydroxychloroquine 100mg

270

$20.00

$5.27

$14.73

Gabapentin 100mg

360

$20.00

$8.24

$11.76

Methotrexate 2.5mg

18

$20.00

$2.39

$17.61

 

 

 

Total Savings

$44.10

There are many games played through mail order. Often times, drug manufacturers will make a deal with the mail order pharmacy to get their drugs to be preferred on the formulary. In turn, the manufacturer gets kickbacks and rebates, which they only pass a portion of on to the plan sponsor.

Mail order medications also take money out of your hometown, usually to another state. This does have an economic impact on your community. It can cause local pharmacies to close, the unemployment rate to rise, and revenue to be lost for your state.

It is worth doing your research to see if you really are getting a better deal through mail order. Find out if you have a choice , it is your healthcare! You should be able to decide which method of obtaining your drugs is best for you.