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Prescription drug prices have skyrocketed to the point where studies have found that nearly a third of patients don’t get their first-time prescriptions filled because they just can’t afford them.
But what you may not realize is that you can save a lot of money just by shopping around using your smartphone.
Price comparison: GoodRx vs. LowestMed
Read more: How I save 75% on prescription drugs
In some cases, the apps find prices that are even lower than your insurance co-pay — or sometimes free!
We wanted to see the difference between these two apps — which are both very easy to use — so we decided to compare the prices of some of America’s most prescribed drugs, choosing generics when possible.
- Synthroid (levothyroxine)
- Crestor (rosuvastatin)
- Ventolin HFA (albuterol)
- Nexium (esomeprazole)
- Advair Diskus (fluticasone)
- Lantus Solostar (insulin glargine)
- Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine)
- Lyrica (pregabalin)
- Spiriva Handihaler (tiotropium)
- Januvia (sitagliptin)
The makers of these apps say prices vary significantly from drugstore to drugstore, especially with generics. Sometimes the apps have different prices for the same drug — at the same pharmacy!
Here are some additional side-by-side comparisons, with LowestMed on the left and GoodRx on the right:
Amoxicillin, 30 capsules of 500mg
LowestMed: $4.00 (Walmart)
GoodRx: Free (Publix)
Atorvastatin (generic Lipitor), 30 tablets of 20mg
LowestMed: $9.13 (Kroger)
GoodRx: $12.20 (Kroger)
Finasteride (generic Propecia), 30 tablets of 1mg
LowestMed: $13.09 (Kroger)
GoodRx: $12.91 (Kroger)
Omeprazole (generic Prilosec), 30 capsules of 20mg
LowestMed: $8.75 (Kroger)
GoodRx: $4.00 (Kroger)
Zolpidem (generic Ambien), 30 tablets of 10mg
LowestMed: $6.97 (Kroger)
GoodRx: $10.00 (Kroger)
Hydroquinone, 1 tube of 4% cream
LowestMed: $32.73 (Walmart)
GoodRx: $33.66 (Walmart)
Venlafaxine ER, 30 capsules of 75mg
LowestMed: $10.43 (Kroger)
GoodRx: $11.93 (Kroger)
Bottom line: Download both apps to save money!
Prices on these apps do change frequently, so I suggest that you download both apps and check them before every fill.
In fact, even before you leave your doctor’s office, you can pull out your phone and search for the lowest price using these tools to see if you can afford your new script.
Check out more from our Michael Saves series:
- How I paid off my $86,000 mortgage in 2 years
- 5 timeless tips from my grandmother that can save you money
- Simple budgeting trick to save 2 full paychecks in 2017