Don't Be Seduced By Discounts On Brand-Name Drugs

Don't Be Seduced By Discounts On Brand-Name Drugs

Nearly 19 million Americans took advantage of a coupon or manufacturer’s discount on prescriptions last year. But what many of those people may not have known is that, while they did pay less for brand name pills, they could have gotten a generic for even less. [More]

Doctor Accused Of Murder For Prescriptions That Led To Overdoses

Doctor Accused Of Murder For Prescriptions That Led To Overdoses

The Los Angeles District Attorney revealed that a California doctor faces murder charges for allegedly pushing unneeded prescription drugs to patients, three of whom died of overdoses in 2009. She also faces 21 felony counts of writing fraudulent, purposeless prescriptions. Authorities says she prescribed tens of thousands of unneeded prescriptions to various patients, including methadone, Xanax, oxycodone to patients. [More]

Kroger Now In The Business Of Filling Your Pets' Prescriptions

Kroger Now In The Business Of Filling Your Pets' Prescriptions

Tired of paying exorbitant prices to your vet to get those prescription pills, creams, eye and ear drops for your pets? The folks at Kroger hope you are, as they have just expanded the availability of pet medications to all the supermarket chain’s in-store pharmacies nationwide. [More]

CVS Makes Mistake, Robocalls Me Incessantly For Their 3 Bucks

CVS Makes Mistake, Robocalls Me Incessantly For Their 3 Bucks

Sarah noticed after a visit to the pharmacy that the technician had failed to charge her for one of her prescriptions. It’s difficult for her to get into town from her college campus, so she figured because it’s the store’s error, she’d let it go. Karma does not agree, and has sent swift and annoying punishment down for Sarah. She must pay for the prescription, or the CVS system will robocall her several times per day reminding her to pick up the prescription. [More]

Why I Won't Ever Go Back To Kmart

Why I Won't Ever Go Back To Kmart

Everyone has those moments as a consumer where we say, “Screw you guys, I’m not coming back.” For M., that moment came for her at Kmart when she came back to pick up a refill and learned that in order to take part in Kmart’s $10 for a 90-day supply generic drug program, she would need to enroll in the discounter’s new Kmart Pharmacy Prescription Savings Club for only $10 per household per year. M. chose instead to transfer her prescriptions to one of the many pharmacies offering the same price for her generic drugs, without having to sign up for any memberships. [More]

Caremark Switches My Prescription To Name-Brand For No Particular Reason

Caremark Switches My Prescription To Name-Brand For No Particular Reason

Many people expressed surprise that drug retailer CVS is a participant in our Worst Company in America tournament. In addition to the everyday issues that a pharmacy/drugstore creates for consumers, though, CVS also owns prescription benefits administrator Caremark. Brandon is a Caremark customer who takes a venerable but still useful medication called Synthroid. He recently ran into a weird situation with his refill, where he was switched to the name-brand medication for no discernible reason. Twice. [More]

Don't Miss Your Nonexistent Prescription Refill Reminder From Target!

Don't Miss Your Nonexistent Prescription Refill Reminder From Target!

If you choose to use auto-refill for your prescriptions at a chain pharmacy, be very, very careful if you move, or if you just happen to get one refill at a different store than usual. G. learned the hard way that Target, at least, will refill your prescription, fail to call you, and if you don’t happen to pick up your refill within two weeks: too bad for you; you’ve lost that refill! [More]

Giant Eagle Dispenses Antidepressants Instead Of Fertility Drugs, Now Taking It Very Seriously

Giant Eagle Dispenses Antidepressants Instead Of Fertility Drugs, Now Taking It Very Seriously

The words “Clomiphene” and “Clomipramine” might look similar, but if you work in a pharmacy, you should know that they stand for very different things. Clomiphene is the generic version of the fertility drug Clomid. Clomipramine is a tricyclic antidepressant. A woman in Pittsburgh says that the pharmacy at a Giant Eagle grocery store gave her the antidepressant when she was prescribed the fertility drug. She had a severe allergic reaction and ended up in the emergency room. [More]

Adventures In Crazy Birth Control Pricing

Adventures In Crazy Birth Control Pricing

Rebecca experienced the wrath of the birth control pricing gods on a Walgreens visit, discovering that the generic version of her pill, Yaz, was suddenly more expensive than the name-brand version. She braved her insurer’s customer service hell to track down some answers but only got more confusion. [More]

Medicare Donut Hole Checks Being Sent Out This Week

Medicare Donut Hole Checks Being Sent Out This Week

Hey people with Medicare, you’re about to become a little more attractive to scammers. That’s because this week the government will start sending out its one-time tax free rebate checks to those of you who have already hit the donut hole gap in your Medicare coverage. The main thing to know, advises Medicare, is that you don’t need to provide any information to anyone to get the rebate–it’s automatic. [More]

Save On Drugs By Making Your Pharmacy Price-Match

Save On Drugs By Making Your Pharmacy Price-Match

What made Jules sicker than her strep throat was the price Kroger wanted to charge her for a 6-pack of generic Azithromycin. $38.72! “That’s highway robbery!” she told the them. Then Jules stumbled onto something most people don’t know that could save them serious money on prescription medication: you can price-match your pills. [More]

Publix Giving Away Free Diabetes Drug

Publix Giving Away Free Diabetes Drug

Publix wants people with diabetes to become their longterm customers, so they’re giving away 30-day supplies of generic metformin in 500 mg, 800 mg, and 1000 mg dosages, with unlimited refills. Although Publix would love it if you subsequently get all your prescriptions filled there, it’s not a requirement for the free drug. [More]

New Study Suggests Drug Ads Ineffective, But Expensive For Consumers

New Study Suggests Drug Ads Ineffective, But Expensive For Consumers

Researchers at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver looked at sales figures and prices for the blood thinner Plavix after direct-to-consumer advertising started in 2001. What they found was that the campaign was largely ineffective at increasing prescribing rates, but that the price of the drug shot up 12% almost immediately to cover the cost of the marketing campaign. [More]

Find Flu Shot, Cheap Generics With Medtipster

Find Flu Shot, Cheap Generics With Medtipster

Medtipster is a website that locates nearby sources of discount generic versions of prescription drugs, as well as flu and other immunization shots. You enter the drug (or shot) you’re looking for and your zip code and it spits out a list of nearby pharmacies. Currently they don’t list H1N1 vaccination sources, but they say they’re going to add that info as soon as it becomes available.

Keep Track Of Your Prescriptions With This Free App

Keep Track Of Your Prescriptions With This Free App

If you have to take meds, you know that one of the big issues is watching out for potential drug interactions—the last thing you want is to pass out at the supermarket from uncontrollable flatulence and a sudden onset of glaucoma. Consumer Reports has developed My Medication Tracker, a free desktop app that lets you privately keep a record of your medication history (and related costs), as well as watch out for potential interactions.

Pfizer Must Pay Record $2.3 Billion Fine For Sneaky Drug Marketing

Pfizer Must Pay Record $2.3 Billion Fine For Sneaky Drug Marketing

Haters of Big Pharma, rejoice! Pfizer has been smacked with a $2.3 billion (yes, with a B) civil penalty which includes a $1.2 billion criminal fine after they did some very, very bad things while promoting painkiller Bextra and other drugs. That’s the largest criminal fine in American history. Let’s hope they’re proud!

Lexapro's Marketing Plan Shows How Drug Maker Pushes New Drugs

Lexapro's Marketing Plan Shows How Drug Maker Pushes New Drugs

The Senate just released 88 pages of a confidential 270+ page marketing plan by Forest Laboratories, created in 2004 and focused on how to get doctors to prescribe the antidepressant Lexapro over similar but cheaper alternatives such as Celexa. The New York Times notes that the line between marketing and education seems to be heavily blurred, which may not surprise you. There are, however, two interesting notes for consumers who may be taking Lexapro.

CVS Will Automatically Refill Your Prescription, Consent Be Damned

CVS Will Automatically Refill Your Prescription, Consent Be Damned

CVS pharmacies apparently don’t need consent to enroll customers in ReadyFill, a program that signs customers up for the maximum allowable number of prescription refills and then robocalls them when their drugs are ready. According to a veteran pharmacist, the automatic enrollments began after CVS’ corporate office set specific performance targets that would affect bonuses for managers and pharmacists. Inside, the pharmacist tells us what ReadyFill is, how it works, and how to escape those annoying robocalls…