When’s the last time you shopped around for a lower price on your prescription drugs? You may be able to save a lot of money simply by switching pharmacies.
Prices vary so much from pharmacy to pharmacy that the retail cash price can be cheaper than going through insurance.
RELATED: How I save 75% on prescription drugs
An investigation published in the May 2018 issue of Consumer Reports found that HealthWarehouse.com was the least expensive place to fill a sample of five generic drugs, beating second-place Costco Wholesale.
I decided to test out the mail-order pharmacy for myself. Here’s my review of how it went…
Team Clark tried the online pharmacy that’s even cheaper than Costco
When I first visited HealthWarehouse.com, I noticed a green banner that links to the Consumer Reports price comparison that I just mentioned.
Below that banner, the online pharmacy explains what first-time customers need to do:
- Add medications to your shopping cart
- Create an account or login to complete the checkout process
- Ask your doctor to send your prescription
- Wait for your order to be processed and delivered
My first time ordering with HealthWarehouse.com
The ordering process was pretty straightforward. I used the search bar to find my prescription, chose a delivery option and paid with my credit card. The company doesn’t accept any insurance.
To receive free standard shipping via USPS/UPS, you must sign up for a monthly newsletter:
“Sign up for our monthly newsletter to receive 100% free standard shipping on all orders. Our friendly newsletter will keep you up to date on special offers, promotions and important news. We promise to never sell your email address or load up your inbox with unwanted spam.”
How to send your prescription
After submitting my payment, I still had some work to do. HealthWarehouse.com requires a valid prescription before it will process your order.
I called up my doctor’s office and they were happy to fax over my prescription the same day.
For new prescriptions, HealthWarehouse.com says your doctor can fax your prescription to 1-888-870-2808, send your prescription via ePrescription or call 1-800-748-7001 with your prescription information.
You also have the option of mailing your original prescription to this address:
7107 Industrial Rd.
Florence, KY 41042
If another pharmacy already has your prescription, you probably don’t need to reach out to your doctor’s office. There’s an option to transfer your prescription during the checkout process.
Shipping and delivery
My prescription showed up at my door eight days after I placed the order. I received email updates every step of the way. Here’s a timeline of my first experience with HealthWarehouse.com:
- April 26: Order placed
- April 27: Pharmacy receives prescription
- May 2: Order shipped
- May 4: Order delivered
HealthWarehouse.com says that all orders take 3-7 business days of processing time before they’re shipped. Standard shipping takes 2-8 business days.
According to its website, the Kentucky-based company that got its start in 2008 serves more than 500,000 customers.
The mail-order pharmacy says having a centralized location allows it to ship and reach more than 80% of the U.S. population within a few days.
It took a bit longer than I expected to receive my medication, but I allowed for extra time since it was a new prescription.
HealthWarehouse.com is licensed and/or authorized to sell prescriptions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Read customer reviews and complaints here.
On the FAQ page of its website, the pharmacy details how it’s able to keep prices down for customers:
“We’re able to keep our prices low by removing layers of cost between the manufacturer and the end consumer (you). By ordering directly from the manufacturer, we are able to cut out several levels of middlemen, and as an online pharmacy we aren’t burdened with the heavy overhead costs of traditional brick-and-mortar retail chains. The end result is that we are able to secure our products at a lower cost than our competitors and pass the savings on to you.”
Use GoodRx to find the lowest prices on generic drugs
Although HealthWarehouse.com was the cheapest pharmacy in the Consumer Reports investigation and for the particular drug that I ordered, it may not have the best prices for the medications that you take.
To find the lowest prescription drug prices, always comparison shop using free smartphone apps and websites.
GoodRx and LowestMed search nearby pharmacies for discounts and coupons that you didn’t know existed. Sometimes these apps find prices that are even lower than your insurance co-pay.
To use the apps, just enter the name of the drug, dosage, quantity, location and search for the lowest price.
Remember that when you use GoodRx or a similar app, you’re choosing to pay without insurance. However, your insurer may reimburse you or apply the purchase against your deductible in some cases.