Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Drug cost comparisons between Caremark and Costco: John Curry enlightens STRS

Sent: Wednesday, October 12, 2005 1:27 PM
Subject: Drug Cost Comparison between Caremark and Costco. All 90 supply.

Damon and Gary:

The study below was compiled by an STRS retiree who called this to my attention. This is an "apples to apples" comparison between Caremark's "stated price" (as furnished with these prescriptions) on his/her packing slip they received from STRS/Caremark's mail-in Rx service and Costco's retail price(as posted on the internet) to anyone off the street who simply "walks in the door" at Costco and purchases the below mentioned Rx. There is a very significant price differential and in many cases, Costco is radically lower in price on some of these Rx's. In some instances below, it would benefit the STRS retiree to simply ingore the Caremark "mail-in" service and to simply walk in the door at Costco to purchase these particular medicines. Either Caremark is doing some "creative bookkeeping" with their stated retail price or someone is getting "taken to the cleaners." It would benefit an STRS retiree to purchase Fluoxetine at Costco at $13.68 vs. paying the $30 generic Caremark "mail-in" price. They would save $16.32 on this 90 day Rx alone! Similar savings could be found also by the purchase of Atenol and possibly some of the other Rx listed below. All of these Rx's below are used daily by this retiree and/or his/her spouse. Are STRS retirees (and STRS for that matter) really getting the best "bang for their buck" from Caremark? John Curry, a Proud STRS member

Subject: Drug Cost Comparison between Caremark and Costco. All 90 supply.

(Note: since the chart would not format correctly for this Blog, please keep in mind that the first figure after each drug name represents the Caremark price; the second, Costco. KB)

Fluoxetine 20 MG: $100.85; $13.68

Avalide 12.5 MG: $148.63; $197.29

Atenol 50 MG: $ 63.07; $7.19

Digitek .25 MG: $8.16; $10.19

Pravachol 40 MG: $350.36, $419.27

Sotalol 80 MG: $387.41; $281.77

Fosamax 70MG: $183.20; $197.99

Welchol 625MG: $405.27; $92.39

Total Retail: $1,646.95; $1,219.77

I could not find the Caremark record for Coumadin.


Larry KehresMount Union Collge
Division III
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