As we have established repeatedly on LesliesList.org, prescription prices can vary a lot from one pharmacy to another.
But did you know that some pharmacies will actually match a competitor’s price? This could save you a ton of cash, but you have to know how, and whom, to ask for this service. Pharmacy retail chains all have different policies. I spoke to a pharmacist recently at each of the seven top retail pharmacy chains in Chicago, and this is how their policies breakdown.
Osco. Will price match any and all prices. They will even price match $4 prices at Walmart/Target, $5 prices from Kmart, but you must give them the price and the store/phone number where you found the lower price, and they will call and confirm.
You could try handing them a printout from LesliesList.org’s medicine price search results, but I can’t guarantee they wouldn’t want a specific store’s phone number to doublecheck. In addition, in order for them to match Costco’s price, you must show them that you have a Costco card. I found this a bit odd, since you don’t have to have a member card to shop at Costco’s pharmacy. I believe this policy holds true for other warehouse discount stores such as Sam’s Club.
Walgreens. No price matching at all.
Target. Will price match anyone else’s price, but not Costco’s or other warehouse store’s price — but with some exceptions. The Costco price match policy as described to me by the pharmacist was pretty fuzzy, and I would double check this before trekking out to Target expecting them to match discount warehouse store’s price.
Costco. No price matching at all.
Kmart. Will price match anyone’s price, as long as the competitor’s store is located in a 2 mile radius of the Kmart store.
Walmart. Will price match anyone’s price, except Costco or other warehouse discount stores. And they have a limit –they will only price match the same prescription up to three times.
CVS. Technically will price match another retailer’s price, but not any $4 or $5 prescriptions, nor Super Saver Card prices, nor Costco or other discount warehouse store.
Leslie Ramirez is an internal medicine physician and founder of Leslie’s List, which provides information that enables all patients, but especially the uninsured and underinsured, to find more affordable medications and health care services.
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