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My Drug Costs

September 14th, 2017 at 11:58 am

Seeing PatientSaver's post about the cost of drugs and Snafu's comments on my last post about my allergy meds has made me consider the cost of my own meds. I have terrible allergies. If you name it, I'm probably allergic to it (with the exception of food allergies). To combat them, I take 4 maintenance medications, and I have a rescue inhaler for emergency situations or winter activities (I also have seasonal bronchitis). The cost of these meds have gone up and down over the years, but I think I'm currently in a pretty good spot. I buy the generic Zyrtec in a yearly supply from Costco ($10). I also will start getting my generic nasal spray from them as I found that a 5-month supply was $17. Previously, I was buying a generic one from Wal-Mart at $10 for a 1-month supply. The steroid inhaler and Montelukast tablets are on my plan's home delivery program. It's wonderful because I no longer have to make a monthly trip to the pharmacist, plus I get a 90-day supply each time. The Montelukast is covered, while the inhaler has a $20 refill cost for the 3-month supply. My rescue inhaler is by far the most expensive of these at $50/refill. The good news is that I only fill that one once/maybe twice a year since I don't use it that often.

All told, I spend about $180/year or $15/month on maintenance meds. I'd always wanted to try allergy shots. Maybe I should look into plan coverage on that and price out what would be cheaper. My only concern is that I know people way less allergy-prone than myself who've gotten the shots, but had no noticeable improvement.

5 Responses to “My Drug Costs”

  1. snafu Says:

    It's important to be your own advocate for medical issues. 1st, does your medical plan cover any part of injections costs? I suggest you talk to your medical provider to review their suggestions in advance of allergy 'season.' What injections might be the best option in your particular circumstances. What outcome to expect. What level of improvement can you expect? Would you do significantly better by combining injection with OTC product?

    I've heard a lot about the Canadian large mail service RX provision system and will try that out on my next refill if there is sufficient price differential.

  2. ceejay74 Says:

    Wow, I didn't know about those Costco deals! I too take generic Zyrtec and generic Nasonex. AS gets her blood pressure meds at Costco because they're much cheaper, so maybe I'll have her pick up those things as well.

    Do you still need a prescription to get those good prices? I would imagine so. They're both available over the counter but much cheaper if my doctor writes me an Rx.

  3. rob62521 Says:

    That's a great Costco deal. Yay for you!

    My husband did the allergy shots. It took a few years to build up the immunities in his body, but he swears by them. He no longer gets them, but every fall he thanks God and the allergist for not being so miserable with hay fever. He was so bad that it was painful to look at him...runny nose, couldn't breathe through his nose, watery eyes, couldn't sleep. He just takes OTC meds each day for every day stuff, but those shots worked!

  4. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    I too am looking into the costco pharmacy

  5. Debt-free by Thir-ty Says:

    Snafu, great points and all things I have to consider when I look into them.

    CJ, I don't have a prescription for them. I used to ask for one, so I could get reimbursed through my FSA, but now that I've managed to find a cheap way to get them, I just pay it out of pocket. The generic Zyrtec is actually normally 13 or 14 for the year supply, but it was marked down to $10. If you're like me and switch between Zyrtec and Claritin every few years, the generic Claritin was $8 for the yearly supply when I was there. I don't remember, but I think the generic Nasonex may also have been a few dollars cheaper than it's normally marked up for. Also, I don't think it's actually Nasonex. A few years back, my insurance stopped covering it, so I had to find an alternative. It's fluticasone which does seem to do well at alleviating the same symptoms that I used the Nasonex for.

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