Shopping around helps save money on prescription drugs

We’ve all heard that asking for the generic brand will get you up to 90 percent off on your medications, but there are other tactics you can use to save big.

Karen Smith of Dayton said she spends a couple hundred dollars a month on prescription meds.

To save money, she drove from pharmacy to pharmacy, asked about prices and found huge differences.

“It’s the same drug you are giving me, why is it higher is one place versus another,” said Smith.

Smith said her effort was worth it because she found huge discounts by driving around- but you don’t have to do that.

Websites like and will compare prices of prescriptions at pharmacies and stores in your neighborhood.

To see for myself I tried out and randomly picked the sleep aid Lunesta.

First, I put in a Beavercreek zip and found the lowest price was $20.64 at the Kmart on Woodman. The highest price was about $160 more the Walmart on Pentagon Drive.

In Centerville, the lowest price for Lunesta was $22.64 at the Kettering Health Network Pharmacy on Miamisburg- Centerville road. The highest price was $180.26 at the Walmart on Springboro Pike.

Why the discrepancy?

“Most pharmacies are able to set their own prices,” said Elizabeth Davis, GoodRx consumer savings expert.

Other cost saving measures:

  • -ask the pharmacist for any discounts and coupons.
  • -ask for the lowest price available.
  • -get a 90-day supply to cut down on co-pays
  • -don’t always use your insurance

“A lot of co-pays are $10 to $15 for the lowest tier- the most inexpensive generic- and a lot of drugs out there are $5 or less with a coupon or even with the pharmacies cash price,” said Davis.

A Consumer Reports analysis found Costco has some of the cheapest prescription drug prices overall- especially if you don’t use your insurance.

I had Karen Smith try an online comparison for her blood pressure medication and she found she may still be paying more than she should.

“It’s higher than the rest, wow,” said Smith.

The cheapest price she found was at Walmart.

A cheat sheet for parents: new teen texting slang

By now we know that LOL stands for laughing out loud, but what about WTTP or MOS?

For Internet Safety Month, the family watchdog website released a new list of the terms and codes your children may be using online and in text messages and what they mean.

Some of the highlights:

  • -MOS= mom over shoulder
  • -WTTP= want to trade pictures
  • -53X= sex
  • -KMS/KYS -kill myself/ kill yourself
  • -9 and CD9= parents are nearby
  • -99= parents are gone

“KYS, kill yourself, I feel like that’s a huge red flag to talk to your child,” said Heather Horton with Riverscape Counseling in Dayton, “are they safe, how are they doing, maybe they need someone to talk to.”

Parents can use the list as a teaching tool, according to Horton.

“Opening the lines of communication is a first step and doing it at a young enough age that you are not caught in this teen rebellion,” said Horton.

Parents should also regulary check texts and messages on childrens’ phones and computers.

“Letting them be aware- I’m paying attention. When you kids know you are paying attention- that’s what they really want from you anyway,” said Horton.

Oakwood mother Melissa Weatherly was surprised by many of the new slang terms and said kids technology usage should be monitored.

“When it comes to the phones and the texting, I don’t think there can be too much oversight,” said Weatherly.

How to have a successful garage sale

I’ve had a few garage sales in the past - and let’s just say they were a bust.

I barely made any money and wasted hours alone in my garage -because hardly anyone showed up.

But now I know what to do next time and you can, too.

Check out my story about “how to avoid a garage sale fail” here.

Rachel Murray is a WHIO-TV consumer reporter. You can watch her reports on News Center 7, follow her on Twitter @RMurrayWHIO, and like her fan page on Facebook.

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