I have been asked this question many times and with the war on both cost of drugs and the war on cash, I thought this might be helpful to put some links in as a reference. Granted all the drugs you need won’t be on the lists perhaps, but there’s enough of them that cover a lot of what is commonly prescribed.
You want to make sure that you do not show the insurance or pharmacy benefit manager credentials as something might go a bit awry in the processing of your prescription. Some of the stores now have a pretty big reporting system that track when you fill your prescription, how you pay for it (those eternal credit card records that are bought and sold) and more. I’ll put links at the bottom of this post that will explain how that work with selling your prescription data and “scoring” you for “predictive” medication adherence, a very flawed program out there.
Filling your prescriptions using Cash and without any access to your insurance and pharmacy benefit manager can actually save you money as the co-pays from the PBMs are higher than the generic prices listed here. These are the latest updates I could find and some do change from time to time.
Wal-Mart has a ton of $4.00 and $10.00 prescriptions, go get your prescription filled and no questions asked.
Sam’s Club, also a part of Wal-Mart offers the $4.00 and $10.00 prescriptions. You need to be a member and pay an annual fee, but they do have some “free” prescriptions available as well.
For now anyway until CVS takes over the pharmacies at Target stores, you can still get your $4.00 and $10.00 generic prescriptions there. Again this will be changing soon as CVS takes over their pharmacy operations.
Here’s the news on Target and CVS from a prior blog post.
Target Stores Sells Pharmacy and Clinic Business to CVS, Uses Debt to Finance and Drops $1 Billion From Stock Buy Backs, Gains a Lot More Consumer Data to Mine and Sell..
Kroger stores also have quite an extensive list of $4.00 and $10.00 prescription refills.
CVS and Walgreens have “valued” priced generics but most are not this cheap and of course you will need to have a membership card or be wired into the Pharmacy Benefit manager.
CVS is really getting tough with their PBM Caremark management and will charge you higher co-pays if you go to a store that sells tobacco, and that takes care of the places to where you can get a $4.00 or $10.00 prescription. Read the blog post below on what they are doing. Most are going to get prescriptions and could care less about the tobacco products in the store anyway and it was nothing more than a big PR campaign for the most part.
CVS To Charge Consumers Higher Co-Pays With Prescriptions Filled at Drug Stores That Still Sell Tobacco Products–Killer Algorithms Attacking Once Again To Make Sure CVS Gets the Prescription Revenue And Your Data To Score And Sell
Here’s the CVS list.
Walgreens has a $5.00, $10.00 and $15.00 tier plan and you’ll probably have to “join” their club to get the savings, which means they will have all your data to sell in the process. I didn’t see a list for Rite-Aid but if regulators give the approval Walgreens is taking those stores over soon and you can look forward to some store closures and cut backs in the near future.
CVS/Caremark is really into making money as well as Walgreens with selling prescription data, each chain making about $ 2 billion dollars a year selling your data and it all gets connected via those rewards cards and your insurance plan cards. They both send data to big companies like IMS who stores about 85% of the world’s prescription data.
Ok so the deal to keep a little of the privacy we have is to pay cash and don’t use any of those rewards or insurance and pharmacy benefit credentials. Every time you fill a prescription you are scored to predict on whether or not you will take your meds. By using cash, you may be called an “Outlier” in your score and get a score to defaulting you to non compliance. I’ll include a link below that describes how that process works via an interview I had with a pharmacist that told me all about it.
Patients Who Pay “Cash” When Filling Prescriptions Are Now Called “Outliers, Pharmacists Required to Fix Outliers as They Show Up As Non Medication Adherence Compliant With 5 Star Systems Full of Flawed Data…
Just for conversation purposes, here’s a look at how Express Scripts secretly scores you (a secret as you can’t see it or have that score even though it is sold to pharma and insurance companies) on whether or not their algorithms think you will take your meds. This goes on everywhere with all pharmacy benefit managers and with data sent to big healthcare data brokers like IMS. As you can see from the image here, none of the metrics shown have anything to do with taking medications. One that stands out is “children in the household”..why single this out as watching too much TV, spending a lot of time at the gym, and so on could also distract anyone for example.
Medication Adherence Predictions Enter the World of Quantitated Justifications For Things That Are Just Not True, Members of the Proprietary “Code Hosing” Clubs Out There Destroying Your Privacy
Here’s a bit about IMS and the data they buy and sell. Have you ever ended up on a clinical trials potential list where your name has been bought and sold? I am on a list of “known blood thinner” users, and it’s a big problem as I get called and solicited and have never been prescribed blood thinners in my life but have to live with the flawed data sold about me all the time as I can’t fix it and find all the sources selling it.
Need Any More Proof That Data Selling is An Epidemic Out of Control IMS Health Files for an IPO And Holds 85% of the World’s Prescription Data
So there you have it and and I hope this is helpful and through adding some information on prescription data selling I hope this might also help you see yet one more angle to war on cash, in other words get patients to use and electronic transaction via a credit card so they can “score” you and might even play a role in denying you access someday to a drug you may need. The link below tell even more about “scoring” and denying access in many areas that you may not even know exist. BD