You probably have a pretty good handle on the average price range and places to find the best deal on most of the items you buy regularly -- except with medication. It might be because you figure your insurance covers it, or because, by the time your doctor hands you the prescription, you’re literally dying already, and stumbling into the first pharmacy you see.
Not the best move, as it turns out! When Consumer Reports had mystery shoppers call pharmacies pretending that they needed a bunch of different drugs for different conditions, they found that prices were totally different from retailer to retailer -- like $43 versus $249 kind of different.
Brielan Smiechowski, a health economics & outcomes expert, explains that when it comes to pricing pharmaceuticals, “there are so many factors involved, and many... cannot be quantified, because companies are not required to release this information.” To help you avoid emptying your bank account unnecessarily, here are five big tips for tricking the system to minimize what you pay for your prescriptions (so that you can spend that money on other substances, like alcohol).