This year’s dangerous flu season got to our house. Our oldest child brought it home and was too sick for school last Friday. Fortunately he only missed one day of school since we got a big winter storm that weekend and kept the kids out of school for a couple extra days. It gave him a chance to recover at home without missing lots of homework. yay, I guess. 😐
Since we caught it early, it was recommended that we get him on Tamiflu. Have you priced that lately? Whoa! Around here it retails for anywhere from $125 to $180 per dose pack, and that’s the generic! Sometimes a doctor will recommend the rest of the family also take it so they can try to prevent getting it themselves. Ok, $125 x 4 of us = $600 for Tamiflu. NOPE.
Here’s what I did. After choking a little bit I turned to my trusty discount drug sources; Samaritan’s discount program available through our member online dashboard and goodrx. Samaritan’s program is really good about getting me prices for my super local non chain pharmacy, which goodrx doesn’t really do (they sort of guestimate and get close most of the time). It’s a tossup which one gives me the best pricing so I like to check them both when prescriptions are needed. Goodrx revealed the cheapest option this time, showing me cash discount prices ranging from $51.94 to over $130! The cash rate of $51.94 was at walmart. When we went to pick up the script the pharmacy tech was concerned about the high cost, because their retail rate is $134. When I mentioned we were using the goodrx app, he ran the codes in his computer and was so surprised to see the price drop down to $51.94, exactly what the app said it would be.
The customer in front of me also used goodrx, and we were able to tell some friends about it who were also facing a huge charge for it. Saving that much money on medicine is a big deal. Normally our meds aren’t very pricey so goodrx will save me a nice $10-$30… but this time it saved me over $80.
I’m sure some insurance patients paid far less than $52 for their Tamiflu (some paid more, too), but they’re also paying huge premiums every month, more than the $495 our Samaritan family share costs. On the whole we are still way ahead on medical expenses compared to having insurance. I’m so thankful for Samaritan and the goodrx app to get us through this flu season without breaking the bank.