Generic Drug Prices Skyrocket at Some Stores

Large pharmacy chains charging up to 18 times what wholesale chains charge

Generic drugs, less expensive copies of brand-name drugs, actually could be costing you a mint, according to a recent Consumer Reports study.

It is recommended that consumers ask their physician or pharmacist about substituting generic versions of their medications whenever possible to save money. But the Consumer Reports study found widespread variation in the price of generic drugs at large pharmacy chains, including Target, CVS and Rite Aid. The mark up—as much as 18 times what wholesale chains (like Costco and Sam’s Club) charge—costs consumers, already spending an average $758 annually out of pocket on medication, hundreds of extra dollars each month.

Pharmacy representatives, including ones from hundreds of grocery stores, online retailers, independent pharmacies and big-box stores nationwide, told Consumer Reports the higher price tags were necessary to cover overhead.

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