The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one-third of U.S. adults have hypertension (high blood pressure). Another one-third have prehypertension, meaning that their blood pressure is higher than it should be but not yet high enough to be considered hypertension.With so many Americans suffering from this, it is no surprise that losartan, the generic of Cozaar, appears on LowestMed.com’s list of the 50 most prescribed medications. The Mayo Clinic says angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) like losartan relax blood vessels, making it easier for your heart to pump blood and lowering your blood pressure in the process. This medication is frequently prescribed to treat high blood pressure, heart failure, kidney failure in people who have diabetes, and chronic kidney diseases.
Given losartan’s popularity, we compared the cash price for this medication in the U.S. and in Canada without insurance benefit. The lowest U.S. price that we could find for a 30-day supply of 50-milligram losartan was $6.60 at Costco with a membership. If you are not a member of Costco, the next best price was $8.45 at any Safeway pharmacy. When we called a Safeway pharmacy in Edmonton, Alberta, the price for the exact same prescription was $18.00 CAD. After converting to USD and including the international exchange fee, the same prescription in Canada would cost you $14.31
Are generic drugs a big part of medications dispensed in America?
The answer is a resounding yes. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, approximately 85% of all prescriptions filled in the U.S. are for generic drugs. Generics have the same effectiveness, strength, purity, safety, and active ingredients as brand-name drugs. The only differences in a generic are the inactive ingredients, appearance, and price. Generics can cost 85% less than the brand-name drugs they are virtually identical to. Of the 50 drugs on LowestMeds.com’s list of most prescribed medications in the first quarter of 2016, 47 of them, 94%, were for generics.
How can I use this tip to save money for my family?
According to Consumer Reports, about 40% of the people they surveyed said they had cut corners with their prescription drugs to make ends meet – splitting pills, skipping doses or not filling their prescriptions at all. If you are concerned about the price of their medication, the first person you should speak to is your doctor to see if a lower-cost alternative in the same class of drugs is available. The fastest way to dramatically lower your prescription costs is to always get the generic version if one is available.
If that would still be too much stress on you financially, your best option is to head over to NeedyMeds.org. Using their drug pricing calculator, we checked the price in several zip codes for a 30-day supply of generic Cozaar using their free drug discount card and the best price was $7.83. There is also patient assistance program that can help you get this medication. If you qualify, a 90-day prescription would only cost you $20.