How To Find Lower Priced Generic Drugs

Here’s two sites which will help you find cheaper generic alternatives to brand-name prescriptions:

More detailed, run by Consumer Reports, and includes information about effectiveness. No registration required.

Just enter the pricier drug or your condition and it returns possible matches. Requires free registration.

These sites are for research purposes only. Before making any switch, present the findings to your doctor for approval.

[via Kiplinger]
(Photo: MegElizabeth)


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  1. Holy Shit, where is CR buying its antidepressants? Them’s expensive, even for antidepressants!

  2. sjpeer says:

    My wife had surgery recently and the only thing that would help her nausea was Zofran. The only problem? To fulfill the prescription would have cost us $600. The other problem was that there’s no generic version of Zofran.

    Then we found out that old-school pharmacies can sometimes compound drugs which means they mix them up themselves. By buying a compounded version we ended up paying only $10.

    There’s only one catch that I know of. Compounding may be illegal unless the pharmacist is compounding something that’s slightly different than the brand name. For example, some people can’t tollerate pills but could take a liquid form of a drug. If there’s no brand-name liquid form on the market, the pharmacist could compound it perfectly legally. Another example is that a pharmacist could add a vitamin to the mix that isn’t in the brand-name version. In other words, there are ways to do it legally.

    I wrote about my experience in this post How I got a $600 Zofran (ondansetron) prescription for $10

  3. nardo218 says: for programs to get free or discount meds.

  4. Shelwood says:

    Those sites weren’t terribly helpful. What I’ve found does help:
    Let your doctor(s) know if you are paying for meds out of pocket or have to pay a large percentage of the cost. They will often give you samples or work with you to find a cheaper med that is right for you.
    If you have chronic conditions, keep track of which medicines work for you and which don’t. It will help you and your doctor in finding the right med for the next go-round.
    Compare prices between the pharmacies in your area. They may differ on particular drugs, sometimes greatly.
    If you must take a brand name med, pay attention to the news so you know if/when it goes generic (as Ambien did recently). (Does anyone know a site that compiles this particular info?)

  5. Lula Mae Broadway says:


    I’m waiting to read about this problem in the mainstream press and am convinced this is a big story (not my specific experience – the whole issue) that will break eventually. I recently had a prescription for Zoloft filled with the generic… my copay was lower, and I didn’t think anything of it. It took me about 3 weeks of increasing craziness to realize that the generic med I was taking was GARBAGE. It was as if I’d gone cold turkey off my meds – something you’re NEVER supposed to do with this class of drugs. I have a long history with this drug and am very aware of what it feels like why I’m on it and when I’m not, and this experience was a disaster.

    Sure enough, I googled: generic zoloft problems and found a ton of posters on various sites saying same things about generic zoloft and generic versions of some other modern anti-depressants.

    I dont know whether the company that made my generic (Teva Pharmaceuticals) is corrupt or incompetent, but based on my experience and conversations I’ve since had with medical professionals, I wouldn’t go near a generic psychiatric drug now no matter how much I saved.

    Finally – Consumerist editors – I strongly believe there’s a BIG story here to be broken here by a scrappy, ambitious reporter; I implore you to pursue this and run with it. Many insurance companies won’t pay for brand names, which means that if the generics suck than thousands and thousands of people are without effective treatment they truly need.