CVS doesn’t exactly have a reputation as a great place to save money on prescriptions.
Just recently, we told you about some comparison shopping Consumer Reports did and reported on in their May 2018 issue. Turns out CVS — along with Rite-Aid — charged nearly $900 for five medications, while HealthWarehouse.com charged a total price of $66 and Costco charged $105 for the same medications.
Talk about a “Clark-rageous” moment! But there is hope of real change on the horizon…
RELATED: How I save 75% on prescription drugs
RX Saving Finder promises approximate savings of $75 per script
On April 11, CVS announced a new tool called the RX Savings Finder. Pharmacists and doctors will have access to the tool shortly.
With this tool, the drug store chain’s pharmacists will be able to run your prescription and check for three things: Cheaper alternative scripts, possible volume discounts so you can buy higher quantities at a lower cost, and any general manufacturer discounts that may be available.
Additionally, the RX Savings Finder will also identify generics or other therapies that could be cheaper and still work for your medical condition.
If there’s an alternate therapy or medication that fits the bill, the pharmacist would call your doctor to have them write the new script — after obtaining your consent, of course.
During a pilot program, CVS found that 95% of patients wanted to have their prescription switched based on the tool’s recommendation. And 85% of the time, the doctors had no problem doing that.
Prescriptions submitted for reimbursement to Medicare, Medicaid or other federal or state programs are not eligible.
Meanwhile, there’s another component to this tool aimed at a part of the health care cost equation that’s never really been addressed before — getting your doctor to understand the out-of-pocket cost that you’ll face before he or she writes a prescription for a particular medication.
With RX Savings Finder, doctors will be able to see the cost of the drug they’re prescribing based on your insurance. Plus, the system will suggest five lower-cost alternatives for them to consider before they put pen to paper to scribble out a script.
CVS reports that doctors pick a lower-cost drug 30% of the time when given the choice, and that the approximate savings patients have seen has been $75 per prescription.
RX Savings Finder will first be made available to members of Caremark, the prescription benefit management subsidiary of CVS Health. By the summer, CVS expects to expand the program to other major players across the industry.
We’ll keep you updated on the roll-out of this potential money saver from CVS here on Clark.com.