The most and least expensive cities for prescription drugs

The most and least expensive cities for prescription drugs
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If you’re looking for ways to find cheaper prescription medicine, you may find some solace — or maybe not — knowing that where you live has a bearing on the cost of them. For instance, people who reside in the metropolitan area of New York City pay nearly 40% more, on average, than folks that live in Atlanta, according to an new analysis from GoodRX, a prescription pricing and discounting site.

Paying more for drug prescriptions? It depends on where you live

Differences in the cost of living in certain cities account for some of the variations, but as GoodRX puts it, when it comes to a drug pricing, a lot of it is simply “nonsensical.”

Money expert Clark Howard says there are multiple reasons why prescription drugs are going up in price.

“Big jumps in price can happen for any number of reasons,” he writes. “Prescription price increases can result from a product shortage or a change in your insurance coverage, and in rare instances, manufacturers may raise prices because there are no competitors selling the product.”

Still, it doesn’t help our wallets to know that just because we live in a particular area, we’re paying more than someone else for the same product.

The 5 most expensive cities for prescription drug+ percent above average

City Percent Above National Average
New York, New York +20.10%
San Francisco, California +12.60%
Los Angeles, California +9.80%
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania +7.90%
San Diego, California +6.40%

The 5 least expensive cities for prescription drugs + percent above average

Columbus, Ohio -21.70%
Atlanta, Georgia -18.60%
Houston, Texas -17.40%
Dallas, Texas -16.90%
Denver, Colorado -16.30%

If you’re wondering what you can do to stem the tide of rising drug costs, particularly where your billfold is concerned, Clark has some recommendations that are just what the (money) doctor ordered!

How to get prescription drugs at affordable prices

Comparison shop: You’ll never know when you’re being overcharged unless you shop around. GoodRx is a great place to start when you want to compare prices in your area.

Go around your insurance: Sometimes, it’s cheaper to pay out of pocket for your medication than through your insurance. This will vary depending on the particular prescription, but saving money is always worth a shot.

Ask for generic counterparts: Many medical professionals may be on the take from pharmaceutical companies so they will mention only a specific brand of medicine you need to take — but don’t be afraid to ask for a cheaper alternative. Your physician may be able to suggest a generic version of the same drug at a fraction of the cost.

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