This Week at Costco – April 26, 2009

May 2nd, 2009 · 4 Comments

I’ve been sick all week long (actually for a couple of weeks now), so I haven’t posted as much this week.  I hope everyone will forgive me.  Because of being sick, the only things I’ve been buying this week are prescriptions.  My doctor put me on some antibiotics that I had to get, but I also had to refill my normal monthly prescriptions too.  So, that got me thinking that this was the perfect opportunity to do a little price comparison for my prescriptions from Costco vs. Wal-Mart.

Costco’s pharmacy very helpfully puts a wide array of prescription drug prices on their website.  You can pretty quickly search and find what you are looking for, most likely.  If you can’t find the price online you can also email an online pharmacist or call up your local warehouse’s pharmacy to get the pricing.  I’ll be honest, I have had very hit or miss service at my local Costco pharmacy; sometimes the pharmacist is very good at answering questions and sometimes I wonder who is on more drugs me or her.  And the wait can be excruciatingly long if you are trying to get a new prescription filled while you wait for it.  These issues could all be contributed to less than stellar pharmacy management at my regular Austin location because they don’t seem to really reflect the quality of the customer service in the rest of the store.  (You know this is killing me to condemn any part of Costco, right?)  Despite all of the issues with service though, the prices are usually beyond competitive with Wal-Mart or other pharmacies.

Here are the prescriptions that I had filled this week, the Clarithromycin is the antibiotic that I don’t usually get, but the other 3 I have to purchase on a monthly basis.

Drug Name Qty. Costco Wal-Mart
Clarithromycin, 500 mg 20 $14.10 $33.55
Leucovorin, 5 mg 4 $  4.91 $  3.95
Methotrexate, 2.5 mg 32 $24.92 $25.68
Fluconazole, 200 mg 60 $29.03 $46.32
TOTAL $72.96 $109.50

Wow, that’s quite a bit of difference between the Costco and Wal-Mart pharmacies; $36.54 to be exact.  As you can see, Wal-Mart is way higher on the Clarithromycin and Fluconazole but actually cheaper on the Leucovorin, and about the same but still higher on the Methotrexate.  Obviously, in a normal month I’m not getting the Clarithromycin (antibiotics), so even if I take that out of the total, the cost at Wal-Mart is $75.95 per month, whereas Costco is just $58.86; that’s a difference of $17.09.  If I add up the yearly cost, my total at Wal-Mart would be $911.40 versus Costco’s $706.32, for a difference of $205.08.  That’s pretty substantial and the difference is like getting free prescriptions at Costco every 3.4 months (that’s roughly 3.5 months of ‘free’ prescriptions at Costco).   That’s kind of amazing and shocking when you figure it out like that, huh?

Obviously, I would suggest that anyone getting regular prescriptions filled someplace that than Costco, check out the prices at Costco because you could be losing lots and lots of money every month.  And, you don’t even have to be a Costco member to get the benefit of their low drug prices in their pharmacy.

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4 Responses so far ↓

  1. 1 Cheapism.com Tries to Compare Sam’s & Costco | Addicted To Costco! // 2011.07.15 at 5:12 am

    […] of the lists.  I’ve never done a pharmacy comparison with Sam’s Club, but I have done a direct comparison with Wal-mart.  Costco was the winner in a big way for my particular set of prescription drugs, so I say that […]

  2. 2 8 Great Travel Discounts From Costco « McCool Travel // 2011.02.08 at 9:19 am

    […] sunglasses, and household goods (including cleaning and garbage bags) at Costco. Apparently, Costco pharmacies sell medicines for less than Wal-Mart. Did you know that postage stamps are discounted at […]

  3. 3 Kimberly // 2009.05.07 at 11:16 am

    Thanks! I am feeling much better now thanks to my friend, antibiotics. :-)

  4. 4 Cynthia // 2009.05.06 at 8:51 pm

    Hope you are feeling better now!

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