10 Stores With Cheap Generic Drugs

Cheap generic drugs are good for when you’re between jobs, between insurance, or if you’ve just got a prescription drug plan that is costing you too much money. You might find, as Wise Bread did, that a generic version of your medication actually causes fewer side effects in addition to being more cost-effective.

You can use Consumer Report’s Best Buy drugs to help you locate some generics that might work for you, and then speak to your doctor about them.

Finally, use the following lists to locate the drugs for the cheapest price.

Walmart
30-day supply – $4.
90-day supply – $10

Target
30-day supply – $4.
90-day supply – $10

Walgreens
30-day supply – $9.99.
90-day supply – $12.99
Membership: ($20/year individual, $35/year family)

RiteAid
30-day supply – $8.99.
90-day supply – $15.99

Kroger
30-day supply – $4.
90-day supply – $10

CVS
30-day supply – N/A
90-day supply – $9.99
Membership: ($10/year per person)

Meijer
Free Antibiotics, Pre-Natal Vitamins, and Diabetes Management Supplies

Kmart
$5-$25 including some non-generics in the women’s health program
Membership: Free

Wegmans
30-day supply – $4
90-day supply – $10

Publix
Free Antibiotics

Please keep in mind that in some states these drugs may be priced higher because of local “Unfair Practices Acts” that prohibit so-called predatory pricing, including selling items for “below cost.”

Generic Drug Price Lists For Six Major Pharmacies – Updated [Wise Bread]

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  1. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    Does anyone know if there are places that offer discount Schedule 2′s?

    • calico says:

      A friend of mine takes Vyvanse, which is a Schedule II. He gets coupons from the manufacturer for half off of his $40 co-pay. I don’t know if drug manufacturers do this for other name brand Schedule II’s, but it’s worth looking into.

    • Bohemian says:

      Certain Sch. II drugs are on Target’s $4 list. Some of the Ritalyn type generics are on there. I can’t remember what schedule Tramadol is on (think it is lower) is also on there. Find out the generic version of the drug and do a search on each stores cheap drug list to see if it is there.

  2. Blow a fuse? I can fix that... says:

    I make my own drugs at… oops, sorry, gotta go – someone’s breaking down the door.

  3. NarcolepticGirl says:

    Yeah, now I only need some Rxs from neurologists and other assorted doctors.
    But without health insurance….

  4. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I called my pharmacy (Dillon’s/Kroger) and they said you have to check with your insurance company first, and if they are okay with getting a 90-day supply then you call your doctor and have them write the scrip for that.

    That will be great if I can do it. My thyroid pills are $4 a month and I take generic, plus I only get tested once a year and it would be nice if that and BC pills could be done every three months.

    • LastError says:

      Beware. If you have insurance, you will pay whatever copay your insurance demands, rather than the $4 or $10 rate.

      Example: I have a 90-day generic subscription at my local Kroger. It would be $10 if I didn’t have insurance. Because I DO have insurance, I have to pay $35 for it. That’s my copay for a 90-day generic.

      It’s the same for several prescripts I get at another store: the 30-days which would be $4 at automatically $8 because that’s what my insurance demands.

      I would be better off moving the scripts around and simply telling the new pharmacy that I don’t actually have insurance. OTOH, one of my meds is apparently about $300 a month rack rate but insurance knocks it down to $50, which hurts but is at least less than $300.

      • Tim says:

        Can’t you just tell the pharmacy to not bill it to your insurance?

      • gman863 says:

        Not if you talk to the pharmacist first.

        My Blue Cross plan is $10 copay for 30 days of generics; however CVS offers two of my generic diabeties meds at $10 for a 90-day supply. I simply told the pharmacist NOT to submit any meds in the $10/90 day program to my insurance.

        Problem solved.

  5. teachnharlem says:

    Costco has cheap drugs, and you DO NOT have to be a member to use their pharmacy. You can just tell the people at the front door that you are going to the pharmacy, and they will let you in.

  6. varro says:

    I got scammed by Forest Labs for them pitching Lexapro to my doctor – when I got a new doctor, I switched to generic citalopram, which goes for the generic drug price at Costco.

    The generic works marginally better than Lexapro, in my anecdotal opinion.

    • NarcolepticGirl says:

      They’re two different drugs. That is generic for Celexa not Lexapro.

    • JonBoy470 says:

      The molecule in Lexapro’s active ingredient is a S-Stereoisomer (a mirror image) of Celexa. Not surprising the two would work similarly.

  7. Sir Winston Thriller says:

    Add the Price Chopper chain to the list. Generics at $3 a month, free antibiotics and many diabetes drugs, lancets, lancet devices, too. http://www2.pricechopper.com/temporary/0525/rx.pdf

  8. RDSwords says:

    Sams Club has great deals on lots of generics. I use generic forms of Claritin and Zantac from Sams. They are a small fraction of the price of the name brand, and work great for me.

    • RyGuy1152 says:

      Yes. My wife takes Zyrtec for allergies, which costs about $20 for a one-month supply. We went to Sam’s and found the generic version, with the exact same active ingredient, for $15 for a year supply.

    • SnowQueen says:

      Same deal with Costco. Amazingly cheap generic version of Claritin.

  9. womynist says:

    If anyone out there is on a medication that doesn’t fall under the $4 for a 30-day supply category, and you are uninsured, check out your doctors office to see if they can hook you up with a Rx Assistance Program. Most pharmaceutical companies have them. You can also check http://www.rxassist.org and http://www.needymeds.org to see if your medication has an assistance program. If all else fails, apply at your local welfare office, as they often help with necessary meds.

    • womynist says:

      Ooops, those links didn’t highlight the way I wanted them to. Let’s try that again…

      http://www.rxassist.org
      http://www.needymeds.org

      If it doesn’t work this time, please just copy & paste. =)

    • NarcolepticGirl says:

      Well, I’m not insurance and my RXs are $1500 a month (I can’t afford to take them now) – but since I don’t have health insurance – I don’t have a doctor. I’m a single female – no kids – income way above poverty.

      • NarcolepticGirl says:

        insured, i meant.

      • Courtney Ostaff says:

        Most states have a plan for those who are “high-risk” — meaning that they keep getting charged extortionate amounts for health insurance due to pre-existing conditions. It’s like traditional health insurance at a reasonable rate. Georgetown University puts out a state-by-state guide here:

        http://www.healthinsuranceinfo.net/

        Very handy site.

  10. mikeyo says:

    “Cheap generic drugs are good for when you’re between jobs.”

    I’m between jobs. What drugs do you recommend I start taking?

  11. Lightning Strikes says:

    If you have to pay cash for your drug(s) CVS is the BIGGEST rip-off on the planet. Stay far, far, away from there. Go to Walmart* or Target.

  12. jennesy says:

    I think that Stop & Shop also offers free antibiotics.

  13. deadandy says:

    When I first stumbled on this information, I came to the shocking conclusion that it is cheaper for me to buy Lisinopril as an “uninsured” buyer at Target than as an insured buyer at CVS. CVS was charging me a $5 copay per 30-day supply.

    Actually I lied–I’m not shocked by this conclusion.

    • LastError says:

      Yeah you are exactly right. If you have insurance, you pay whatever copay your insurance demands even if it is higher than the discount program price.

      If you do not have insurance, you get the discount price.

      The way to do this with insurance is move your prescriptions to a new pharmacy but don’t tell them about insurance. Of course, this will not help if you need other non-generic meds. Just leave those behind at the first pharmacy where they know about your insurance.

  14. Bohemian says:

    Our current insurance charges you a percentage of the total price of the drug as your copay so what it costs really does matter. Our current insurance lets us buy $4 generics at Target, they pay their portion and ours is like 80 cents.

    Our other crappy insurance we had before had flat copays so having a $4 generic run through our insurance cost us something like $9. I just asked the pharmacy not to run those certain ones through insurance and everything was fine.

    You have to do the homework on these things, the pharmacy frequently won’t. Either they are too busy or don’t care if your paying too much.

    We made an effort to lower our drug costs. We looked to see if there were available generics of what we took. Most were so we were already overpaying when we didn’t have to. Some we found generic alternatives that were just as good or better. We cut over $300 out of our monthly drug costs just by doing this.

    The one that really seemed ridiculous was that generic Tramadol (APAP) that means it was combined with Tylenol, was $110 for 30 days. I had the doctor re-write my prescription for just plain generic Tramadol and I bought a bottle of store brand Tylenol. For $106 I think I can take some extra pills.

  15. Staceyotk says:

    Kudos to the chains that offer free prescriptions. I have a neighbor (illegal immigrant) with no health insurance, so she can’t to a Dr. in order to get a script. She’s prone to urinary tract infections and ear infections. She purchases her antibiotics (in the pet section) on Amazon.com. 100 tablets for $15.

    • JonBoy470 says:

      Um, yeah…

      You still need to see a doctor to get a prescription, even if the meds are free. But buying off the pet section at Amazon? Really? Sounds dangerous to me.

      • Staceyotk says:

        Me too. She said she did extensive research on the safety of it. She even went so far as to tell me “Pet medication is more regulated than human medications.” According to her, there’s a boat load of people who have had to resort to buying bird and fish antibiotics since the recession. I’ll take her word for it. I might even buy a bottle to throw in my hurricane shelter.

  16. SnowQueen says:

    Safeway supermarkets, at least in Colorado, offer $4 generics (30-day supply).

  17. BoredOOMM says:

    My local chain used to match the Costco 19 miles away. Now corporate declared no price match “outside of 15 mile radius.”

  18. NickelMD says:

    And cheap generics aren’t just for when you are uninsured. I’m a physician and have what would be termed ‘Cadillac coverage.’ I also can write my own (non-scheduled) prescriptions.

    I take 8 drugs (shitty genes…) and only two are branded drugs. Of the 6 I take that are generic, 5 I get at Walmart for $10 per three month supply. One I get at Costco.

    I do this for several reasons:

    1) Its cheaper. My copay is $5 for generics. For the $10 I pay for a 90 day supply, I would pay $15 and have three trips to the pharmacy instead of one.
    2) Generics are older drugs. They have been used on gajillions of people and we have pretty much worked out what badness they do. Its generally a better policy not to take the ‘new purple pill’ when and old gray one does 95% the same and has been around for enough years that we’d know if they give you terminal nose warts or make your ass fall off.
    3) Just because you have good insurance now that doesn’t mean you will continue to have good insurance. If your insurance ends, and you are on 5 pricey brand names, you will be paying an assload, switching 5 drugs at a time, or stopping your meds. If however you are on 4 cheap generics, and one pricey one, you might not need to change your regimen at all.
    4) If more people were willing to take generics rather than the new purple pill, pharmaceutical costs would decrease on a nationwide scale, bringing the overall cost of health care down. It is ultimately an extremely complicated but nonetheless zero sum game. If we save money where we can, then we will be able to afford the $40k chemo when we need it most. Its a small thing, but its the same kind of idea as ‘live simply that others can simply live.’
    5) Plus I hate Big Pharma worse than I hate Bush, Cheney, and Karl Rove combined. I HAAAATTTEEE them. I was refusing the schwag when it wasn’t cool in the early 90s. They are teh ebil. If they were on fire I would not piss on them to put them out.

    • Heresy Of Truth says:

      I write this as a nurse. I love you. My favorite doc’s were always the ones that refused that cheap crappy pharma-swag.

    • annabelle327 says:

      As someone not in the healthcare field, I appreciate you as a doctor using logic to direct your patients to generic…not only save money but to protect their health

  19. mbz32190 says:

    ShopRite stores have generics for $3.99 (might as well save a penny if you shop there anyway), plus free select diabetes medication, which seems to be a growing trend among supermarket pharmacies now. I still don’t understand why people go to the “big 3″ chain drugstores when they can do much better at the supermarket/Target/Walmart, even if they have insurance. (I use Wegmans pharmacy at the moment, despite there being a Walgreens a mile from my house).

  20. Sir Winston Thriller says:

    Oh yes — If you’re taking an expensive brand name drug, check the drug’s website. Some have coupons or membership programs to limit your copay. Do the same for diabetes supplies (test strips, meters, etc.) too. MY test strips cost me a copay of over $50/month, and now it’s $15.

  21. s0s has a chewy nougat center says:

    If only this were useful for things like mood stabilizers. Unfortunately, generics are often made by multiple labs with comparatively poor QC standards, and the generics for the medication I need were found to have release times that varied wildly from the brand, plus different levels of the actual medication. The brand has never given me problems, but the generic released at very much the wrong rate and gave me fantastic migraines, among other problems.

    It’s good for things like antibiotics, though, where you’re not going to spiral into suicidal depths if you don’t get the right dose. But generics are NOT for everyone, or every situation/medication.

    • jimhsu says:

      I was initially skeptical of this, so I did a bit of research. Turns out there is indeed an effect:

      http://www.drugs.com/clinical_trials/new-single-study-shows-extended-release-nifedipine-not-bioequivalent-adalat-xl-8825.html

      Based on the study results from in vitro and in vivo tests, the generic extended release nifedipine product has a delayed onset of drug release compared to the originator which is especially noticeable in the fed state. When the tablet is taken after a standard high fat meal, the total exposure to the generic nifedipine is almost 20 per cent lower than with Adalat(R) XL(R).

      – Study sponsored by Bayer, so take with a grain of salt. Still, this goes to show that there may be significant bioavailability w.r.t time differences that the FDA may be missing.

  22. Quantumpanda says:

    Giant Eagle also has a $4/$10 list, plus a list of free antibiotics and five free diabetes drugs. They’re only in a few states, though.

  23. gman863 says:

    Texans can add H-E-B to the list. Although I’m pretty sure they’re $5 for a 30 day supply, I’ve heard they have more meds on their discount list than most competitors, including certain pet meds.

    Since the nearest H-E-B is 20 minutes away I use CVS. On the meds that qualify for their $10/90 day discount program the pharmacist doesn’t submit them to my insurance (thereby avoiding Blue Cross’ higher $10/30 day generic co-pay).

    Wal-Mart sucks for prescriptions. In the time it takes me to find a parking space there I can be in and out of CVS.

  24. Spider Mann says:

    After the birth of my daughter and having broken my back, I switched to Target for all my meds. Everywhere else was screwing me on price for her and my meds.

    Ever since then I have saved thousands on meds by going to Target. They are worth it.

    (You just have to find a competent Target pharmacy…)

  25. Thorzdad says:

    You might find, as Wise Bread did, that a generic version of your medication actually causes fewer side effects…

    I’ve never found a generic ever producing fewer side-effects. Quite the opposite. Especially with our son’s anti-depressant, we found generics to be wildly different in their effects and side-effects. Some of them actually made things dangerously worse. We never had that problem with the brand version. Luckily, we found a generic from a specific manufacturer that worked almost as well as the brand. Unfortunately, that meant, when refill time came, we had to call around to our local pharmacies to find out which manufacturer they were stocking that month. It changes a lot. We found that the manufacturer our son had the worst problems with was also the cheapest. So, it tended to be the one that was stocked most often.

  26. Thorzdad says:

    You might find, as Wise Bread did, that a generic version of your medication actually causes fewer side effects…

    I’ve never found a generic ever producing fewer side-effects. Quite the opposite. Especially with our son’s anti-depressant, we found generics to be wildly different in their effects and side-effects. Some of them actually made things dangerously worse. We never had that problem with the brand version. Luckily, we found a generic from a specific manufacturer that worked almost as well as the brand. Unfortunately, that meant, when refill time came, we had to call around to our local pharmacies to find out which manufacturer they were stocking that month. It changes a lot. We found that the manufacturer our son had the worst problems with was also the cheapest. So, it tended to be the one that was stocked most often.

  27. BradenR says:

    If you can find them, do you really want to be the guinea pig to see if the raw ingredients came from off shore, and maybe don’t meet specs?

  28. TTFK says:

    For those in New England, free antibiotics at Big Y: http://www.bigy.com/phar/antibiotics

  29. pika2000 says:

    “predatory pricing, including selling items for “below cost.””
    Well there you go. If you wonder where the local independent pharmacies are, there you go. Race to the bottom. Next thing you know, there will be only a walmart and/or walgreens in your neighborhood. Good job people.
    Meanwhile insurance companies keep racking in the dough.

    Retail pharmacies are run by idiots. They basically are killing their own profession. The race to the bottom won’t last long.