If you’re considering getting a new medication online, there’s a good chance you’re going to want to pay extra for it.
A study published in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association (JAPA) suggests that, if you can find the right pharmacy, you can avoid the “sneaky peak” of online drug deals.
“Online drug deals have become more and more common, with many consumers paying more than twice the average price,” said study author David J. Karpinski, MD, from New York University.
“This can result in consumers spending an extra 30 percent or more of their purchase on a drug.”
The JAPA study looked at the prices of a total of 7,854 different drugs from the companies listed on pharmacies.
It looked at online drug sales through September 30, 2018, and found that over half the drugs were sold for less than $10.
The study found that, for most, a price of $5.00 would be enough to buy all of the medications listed on the pharmacy website, even if the drug was expensive.
In fact, the study found only two drugs were cheaper than $5: one for $4.99 and another for $9.99.
The biggest cost-saving factor, Karpinsky said, was that many online drug prices tend to be based on generic drugs.
Generic drugs can have a cheaper price tag than brand name drugs.
But they tend to have fewer active ingredients, which means they’re less effective at treating the illness that the drug is intended to treat.
“If you’re looking at a drug that has active ingredients that are generic, then the brand name drug has to cost more,” Karpinksi said.
“But if you’re comparing the generic drug to the brand, then that’s the cheaper drug.”
When buying online, Krapinski said, it’s important to keep in mind that most online drug sellers are not licensed or regulated, so it’s up to consumers to make their own judgments.
Karpinski’s study also found that online pharmacies are also the best places to buy medications from a manufacturer, because there’s less competition for the drugs in the online market.
“Most drugmakers will sell to only one pharmacy at a time, and so it is not uncommon for multiple online pharmacies to be offering the same drug at a higher price than the retail pharmacy,” Krapinksi explained.
For consumers looking to make the most of online deals, Kapinski recommends buying a pharmacy that offers discounts and coupons, and avoiding buying from retailers that don’t offer coupons or discounts.
“There are a number of online pharmacies that offer a number to consumers who are searching for medications that they can save on,” he said.
Krapinski also pointed out that most pharmacies are owned by health care companies, so they can charge you more for medications, but they can also be less expensive for consumers.
The JapA study found the average savings for online pharmacy deals is $1.75 per prescription.
If you can afford the extra money, Kipinski said you can expect to save an additional $1,200 per year for your prescription.
“One of the best ways to save money online is to buy generic medications,” he added.
“If you are a regular user of a prescription drug and need the drug, you’re better off buying the generic version.”
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