HOUSTON - Many families are struggling to pay skyrocketing prices for prescription drugs, especially on top of inflation.
When you use your health insurance at a local pharmacy, you and your insurance usually pay a markup. Now some online pharmacies say to forget to use insurance. You can buy many drugs directly from them for a fraction of the cost.
Wayne Taylor and his wife are raising their grandson, Jonathan, who has epilepsy. Jonathan's medication, Oxcarbazepine, costs hundreds of dollars a month.
"We got him on our private insurance," said Taylor. "That dropped it down to $525. Then we got him on ScriptCo Last month. It was $18, plus $6 shipping. So $24."
We verified. It's the same generic medication, from the same manufacturer, $18; and Taylor says he has also stopped paying about $60 a month for his own meds.
"Mine is for blood pressure and cholesterol. The $6 shipping is more than the drugs cost me, and that’s for three months. It costs me about a dollar a month," Taylor told us.
He pays online subscription pharmacy ScriptCo a $140 annual membership fee and saves thousands.
"He's been a blessing to us," Taylor said. "I want to be able to help him."
Taylor says the savings free up money for other things for his grandson.
"That way we can give him the best life we can," he said.
Scriptco doesn't accept insurance. Co-founder Zach Zeller says they buy generic prescriptions only, directly from wholesalers, then sell them to you at the same wholesale price. No markup. They make their money off a $140 annual membership fee.
"When you operate in the insurance system, you have this middleman called the pharmacy benefit manager, and they force specific pricing," explained Zeller. "Doing that, you're not able to offer medications at cost. So we chose to operate outside the insurance ecosystem."
You can check the price of your prescriptions on ScriptCo.com before signing up for membership.
"You look at drug like Lipitor, it's $0.54 for a 30-day supply with us, very inexpensive," said Zeller.
Taylor says ScriptCo is helping him give his grandson a brighter future.
"We’re going to get him to excel as far as he can go," he said.
Other online pharmacies may help you save on prescription drugs, as well. Make sure you check fees and pricing before choosing the best fit for your budget.