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Apps That Find Best Prescription Prices

By Matt McMillenMarch 31, 2016
From the WebMD Archives

Prescription drugs can cost a lot of money – just how much may depend on where you buy them. Different pharmacies charge different amounts, making it difficult to know whether you are paying the lowest price for your medications. There are some apps that promise to minimize the guesswork, and your costs, by locating the least expensive option among retailers near you – and providing coupons, too.

I tested three apps to see which found the best prices and the most pharmacy location options: OneRX, GoodRX, and WeRX. All of them are free on both Android and iOS, and each performs the same basic functions, with one notable exception (discussed below).

Install them on your Android or iOS device, create an account, and then search for the drug you have been prescribed. Using your device’s GPS or your zip code, the apps will show you the nearest pharmacies that stock it and how much it costs at each. I recommend you install each, because they give you different prices and coupons.

To illustrate, here’s how they did with three popular medications. Prices listed are based on retail costs in Portland, OR, where I live. They may vary from place to place. If you have insurance, what you pay will depend on your coverage.

Crestor 10mg, 30 tablets, prescribed for high cholesterol (no generic available)

App Lowest price Highest price Number of locations
OneRX $ 187.21 $ 211.96 25
GoodRX $ 256.22 $ 275.60 9
WeRX $ 273.21 $ 276.31 13

Abilify, 5mg, 30 tablets, prescribed for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other mental/mood disorders

App Lowest price Highest price Number of locations
OneRX $ 215.45 (generic) $ 850.72 (generic) 25
GoodRX $ 193.68 (generic) $ 392.83 (generic) 7
WeRX $ 964.97 (brand) $ 976.12 (brand) 13

NOTE: WeRX did not offer prices for the generic version of Abilify

Januvia, 100mg 30 tablets, prescribed for type 2 diabetes (no generic available)

App Lowest price Highest price Number of locations
OneRX $ 363.79 $ 401.96 25
GoodRX $ 371.04 $ 415.80 7
WeRX $ 396.75 $ 401.30 13

As you can see, the prices can vary considerably. OneRX beat the others on Crestor prices, while GoodRX offered the best price for Abilify. WeRX came in last for each and, for some reason, did not list generic Abilify.

You can use all three apps on your computer as well as your mobile devices. And all of them provide coupons that you can use simply by showing your pharmacist your smartphone screen. OneRX does have an additional feature missing in the other two apps: it works with your insurance. Once you’ve created an account, you can either manually enter your insurance info or use your device to snap a photo of your insurance card. The app can then calculate what you’ll pay based on your coverage, your copay and any available coupons.

In 2013, Consumer Reports recommended both GoodRX and WeRX; OneRX launched last year.

While these free apps can help you shop for the lowest price at nearby pharmacies, keep in mind that the price they quote is not guaranteed. But if they can save you any money at all, you come out ahead.

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