7 things to know about Costco Pharmacy before you fill a prescription

Costco Pharmacy
Image Credit: Costco

When you’re sick, Costco Pharmacy could be good for what ails you.

The pharmacy department at the warehouse club chain offers a full range of prescription medications, along with trusted over-the-counter medications, wellness remedies, durable medical equipment and more.

Costco Pharmacy: What you need to know about prescription, prices, auto refill and more

There’s no shortage of places you could go when you need to fill a prescription.

But there are a few compelling reasons why you may want to make Costco Pharmacy the pharmacy of choice for yourself and your family.

costco pharmacy pill bottle

You don’t have to be a member to fill a prescription

First and foremost, Costco Pharmacy is open to anybody where required by law. In practice, that means in most states. So, you don’t really even have to be a member to use the Costco pharmacy.

In an era of skyrocketing prescription costs, Costco routinely has some of the lowest prices on medications. If you’re looking to cut the cost of your prescriptions, the warehouse club is a great place to start — and you don’t necessarily have to pay an annual membership fee to save.

Some locations even have a separate entrance for non-members that leads directly into the pharmacy. Call your local store to check before heading out.

Costco pharmacy prices are very competitive 

Consumer Reports recently had secret shoppers call more than 150 drugstores around the country to get quotes for a one-month supply of five commonly prescribed generic drugs:

  • Diabetes drug pioglitazone (generic Actos, 30 mg)
  • Painkiller celecoxib (generic Celebrex, 200 mg)
  • Antidepressant duloxetine (generic Cymbalta, 20 mg)
  • Cholesterol medication atorvastatin (generic Lipitor, 20 mg)
  • Blood thinner Clopidogrel (generic Plavix, 75 mg)

Here’s how the prices stacked up:

prescription drug price comparison
Consumer Reports

As you can see, Costco was the second-cheapest option out of a variety of big name pharmacies and independent players. They were bested only by HealthWarehouse.com.

Yet while HealthWarehouse.com was cheaper, it’s important to note that not everyone wants to or has the luxury of waiting for a prescription to arrive by mail from an online pharmacy.

So, as a walk-in pharmacy, Costco remains a viable and cost-competitive option. That’s particularly true if you are a member, because you can save even more money if you do the following…

Join the Costco Member Prescription Program (CMPP) for additional savings

Costco Pharmacy helps customers get lower prices through something called the Costco Member Prescription Program (CMPP).

The CMPP, which is free for Costco members to join, is not insurance. There’s no reimbursement when you make a prescription purchase. What you get instead is discounts on all prescription medications and some OTC meds.

But again, you must be a dues-paying member of Costco to join. More on that in a moment.

So, exactly how much will you save with the CMPP? Here are a few select discounts as noted on the Costco website:

Medication name CMPP Price
BAYER Contour next Strips #100 $46.80
Dilantin 100mg Cap #90 $61.19
Lipitor 10mg Tab #90 $215.64
Viagra 100mg Tab #10 $140.06
Norvasc 5mg Tab #90 $146.55
Pristiq ER 50mg Tab #90 $337.30
ProAir RespiClick $37.41
Retin-A Micro 0.1% Gel 45gm $682.39
Victoza Pen 18mg/3ml #2 $596.38

You can see more potential savings here.

“The amount of any price reduction is determined at the time of purchase, based on additional negotiated discounts with suppliers and manufacturers regarding the drug(s) dispensed, and/or on Costco’s net cost of purchasing certain drugs, both of which may change from time to time,” Costco notes on its website.

Joining is easy; just complete the simple enrollment form available at any Costco Pharmacy.


Have additional questions? Read the FAQs about the Costco Member Prescription Program here.

Costco Pharmacy’s Auto Refill program is very convenient

Costco offers an Auto Refill program so you’ll never have to request a refill again. Here’s how it works:

Simply go to Costco’s Refill Prescription page or Prescription Status page. That’s where you’ll be able to put a credit card on file for future billing.

From there, you can set up individual prescriptions for Auto Refill by clicking the “on” (or “off”) button in the Auto Refill column.

costco auto refill
Costco Pharmacy

Once you’re signed up, you’ll get an email 72 hours before any one of your scrips is due to be sent out to you. You then have to reply with consent by email or phone in order for your medication(s) to be shipped.

Costco Pharmacy’s prices on pet medicine are worth a look

In addition to medication for humans, Costco has great prices on pet medications. There are two ways you can move a pet’s prescription to Costco Pharmacy.

First, if your animal is already on the medication, just bring the bottle or tube to the pharmacy during your next visit. A pharmacist will discuss price and availability with you and help arrange with your veterinarian to transfer the prescription.

Second, if your animal is just beginning a new medication, have your vet’s office send the script directly over to the Costco warehouse pharmacy from the get-go.

Here’s a look at pricing for some common pet meds at Costco Pharmacy:

Medication Formulation Quantity Price
Apoquel 5.4MG Tablet 30 $64.82
Truprofen (Carprofen) 75MG Chewable Tablet 60 $27.77
Heartgard Plus 51-100 LBS Chewables 6 $43.98
Vetsulin Insulin Suspension 10 ML $44.87
Nexgard Dog 10.1-24 LBS Chewables 6 $108.59
Vetoryl 60MG Capsule 30 $83.46
Thyro-Tab Canine 0.7MG Tablet 120 $15.34
Proin 75MG Chewable Tablet 60 $24.37
Amoxicillin-Clavulanate 125MG Tablet 28 $24.87

You can see more prices here.


Costco offers a full-service travel immunization program in select areas

For $39.99, Costco will get you ready for travel to exotic destinations around the world.

costco full service travel medicine
Costco Pharmacy

Costco Pharmacy provides a full service travel consultation program that includes a thorough evaluation by a qualified travel medicine physician. They’ll administer all the shots and medications you’ll need for your trip.

This program is currently available in select locations in Southern California, Washington, Idaho and Oregon. Full details are available here.

Costco Pharmacy is VIPPS Accredited

VIPPS (Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites) certification is the hallmark of any good pharmacy — and Costco’s got it.

This accreditation mark tells you that the pharmacy in question has passed rigorous vetting by the National Association of State Boards of Pharmacy.

Here’s a reminder: If you’re ever shopping your prescriptions around online, be sure any pharmacy you choose to do business with is VIPPS Accredited. That’s a sure way to distinguish a legitimate online pharmacy from a shady one.

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