If you rely on a medication that keeps rising in price, you should check out prescription drug apps. They can help you comparison shop among nearby pharmacies for the best price.
But which app is best when it comes to saving the most money? In February 2020, I put five of the most popular apps to the test, and there was definitely a clear winner!
Here’s What You Need to Know About Saving Money on Prescriptions
To arrive at my results, I got started by going to the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health to determine the most popularly prescribed drugs in the country.
From there, I price shopped some of the top drugs on the following apps — which I’ve alphabetized below — and compared the prices:
GoodRx is perhaps the most well known of all the prescription drug apps. It’s accepted at 70,000 pharmacies nationwide — by far the largest network of participating pharmacies.
However, SingleCare has been gaining in popularity recently thanks to a lot of TV ads. With 35,000 participating pharmacies, its network is only half the size of GoodRx.
Unlike its two main competitors, RxSaver by RetailMeNot doesn’t give specifics about how large its pharmacy network is. It simply says it’s accepted at “thousands of pharmacies nationwide,” including CVS, Costco, Kroger, Walgreens and Walmart, among others.
WellRx isn’t necessarily well known, but it has a large network of more than 65,000 participating pharmacies.
Finally, Blink Health also advertises a network of 35,000 participating pharmacies nationwide.
However, Blink Health structures its pricing a bit differently than its competitors. It has a Home Delivery Price, an Everyday Low Price and a Blink Smart Deal Price. For the purposes of this comparison, I used the Everyday Low Price because that’s the price available at any of Blink Health’s participating pharmacies.
I compared the same dose and quantity of 15 of the most popular medications in one metro Atlanta ZIP code in February 2020. Below you can see what I found when I put these five competitors head-to-head.
Note: I was looking for the “walk-up price” for all five competitors, i.e. the price that’s most widely available through the app — without joining a premium savings club or getting your medications through mail order.
I’ve highlighted the winner for each drug whether it was an outright win or a tie among more than one prescription drug app:
|Drug name, dose and count||GoodRx||SingleCare||RxSaver||Blink Health||WellRx|
|Lisinopril, 20 mg, 90 count||$10.84||$9.81||$9.31||$8.48||$8.40|
|Levothyroxine, 50 mcg, 90 count||$10.00||$10.00||$10.00||$45.81||$10.00|
|Metformin, 500 mg, 60 count||$4.00||$4.00||$3.50||$4.00||$4.00|
|Amlodipine Besylate, 5 mg, 30 count||$7.20||$9.00||$3.30||$3.92||$4.80|
|Metoprolol, 50 mg, 30 count||$2.96||$27.06||$6.52||$8.90||$9.00|
|Hydrochlorothiazide, 25 mg, 30 count||$3.09||$3.00||$0.48||$3.94||$3.11|
|Losartan, 100 mg, 30 count||$7.50||$9.00||$5.47||$8.96||$9.00|
|Gabapentin, 300 mg, 90 count||$9.98||$12.50||$7.78||$11.40||$9.30|
|Sertraline, 50 mg, 30 count||$7.49||$7.21||$4.85||$7.15||$5.70|
|Furosemid, 20 mg, 30 count||$4.00||$4.00||$3.60||$3.97||$4.00|
|Atenolol, 50 mg, 30 count||$4.00||$4.00||$3.67||$3.90||$4.00|
|Amoxicillin, 500 mg, 30 count||$7.57||$5.52||$7.64||$8.93||$6.30|
|Fluoxetine, 20 mg, 30 count||$4.00||$4.00||$3.48||$3.90||$4.00|
|Citalopram, 20 mg, 30 count||$4.00||$4.00||N/A||$3.92||$4.00|
|Trazodone, 50 mg, 30 count||$4.00||$4.00||$4.00||$3.90||$4.00|
Analysis of the Results
As you can see, RxSaver offered the cheapest price or tied for the cheapest price in 10 out of 15 instances.
An honorary mention goes to GoodRx, but you might not realize it just by looking at our chart. That’s because it alone identified free drug offers at nearby pharmacies.
For example, I discovered in the course of my research that regional grocery chain Publix offered free Lisinopril, Metformin and Amlodipine Besylate at no cost.
GoodRx was the only one that reflected the freebie offer in its price results, which I’ve highlighted below in green:
Ultimately, I chose to display the next cheapest price — $4 in this case — in my table because that’s the price most widely available on GoodRx.
To find free drug offers on GoodRx, enter only the drug name; do not specify a particular dose or count as I did for this article.
That way, the system will automatically default to the free option if there is one available.
There are a lot of prescription drug apps out there, and I’ve only spotlighted five of them. If you only want to download one or two to try, I’d recommend RxSaver and GoodRx for the reasons noted above.
However, if there’s one particular medication that’s really eating up your budget, you can always check the price of that drug on each of the apps’ websites before making a decision about which app(s) to download.
Meanwhile, if you want the absolute best price each time you get a prescription, remember to re-check prices when you refill the medication every 30 or 90 days. If you check every time you refill, you could find a better price at another pharmacy.
Finally, be sure to check out our article on 10 Ways to Save on Prescription Drugs.