Heckuva Markup

March 15, 2007 @ 10:25 am | Filed under:

Hubby just forwarded me this Boing Boing post:

On the Freakonomics blog, Stephen Dubner (co-author of the wonderful
Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything) digs into the pricing on generic drugs and finds that the main-street pharmacies mark up their offerings by 975 percent!

Even once you factor in the cost of buying a membership at Costco and
Sam’s Club, the price differences were astounding. Here are the prices
he found at Houston stores for 90 tablets of generic Prozac:

Walgreens: $117

Eckerd: $115

CVS: $115

Sam’s Club: $15

Costco: $12

Those aren’t typos. Walgreens charges $117 for a bottle of the same pills for which Costco charges $12.

Yowza! I’d be interested in seeing the differential for asthma medications (the only prescription meds we buy on a regular basis here).

Click through to Boing Boing
to get the link to the whole post quoted above, which is quite interesting.  A commentor chimes in that Costco does not require membership for pharmacy purchases. Is that correct? I don’t shop at Costco (yet) but I have always heard good things about it (including its corporate policies). I keep meaning to go check out diaper prices there. I’ve been getting them via Amazon Grocery, and with the 15% discount for subscription service, I’m paying 18 cents a diaper. I used to get Target’s store brand for 17 cents per, but the doorstep delivery is totally worth that extra penny, in my book.

Except this time I cut it too close, and the baby is wearing the last diaper in the house, yikes! We are nibbling our nails while waiting for the doorbell to ring this morning…

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6 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. Mary Beth P says:

    Did you get the Amazon special in Jauary? I got $30 off $100 worth of diapers (with free shipping). I agree that the door to door delivery makes a little extra cost worth it (I used to belong to Costco, and didn’t find their diaper prices to be much better than any other place).

  2. Judi says:

    I agree with Mary Beth on Costco’s diaper prices. last time I looked they were 20 something cents per diaper. I used to use Walmart’s Parent choice brand. Now I use cloth which saves me even more money. 🙂 It is true that you don’t have to be a member to buy prescriptions there.

  3. Shelly says:

    I don’t think you have to be a member at Sam’s either. I was told if you aren’t a member (My mom has a business membership and pays the $25 dollars for an extra card for me for Christmas) you just tell them at the door that you want the pharmacy and they will let you through. Also, check with the Walmart pharmacy in your area, a lot of them have tons of drugs for $4 a prescription. I’ve already used it three times on random prescriptions since they started sometime around the first of the year. They started in FL in September and announced they planned to slowly add locations in other states. It was so popular that they went to lots of locations very quickly.

  4. Cici says:

    Other stores are jumping on the generic drug program as well. Our local grocery store, and Target, too, have the $4/$5 generic presciprition program. FWIW, I don’t find Costco’s diaper prices to be anything special.

  5. Elizabeth H says:

    Ooh, Lissa, surely a crunchy gal like you should use cloth?!

    (Only joking… I mostly used cloth but also disposable at times.)

  6. ethesDenue says:

    I want a man who’s kind and understanding. Is that too much to ask of a millionaire?–Zsa Zsa Gabor, (ca. 1918–), actress