Vermont Launches Web Site That Compares Drug Prices

Armen Hareyan's picture

Drug Price Comparison


Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell (D) on Tuesday unveiled a Web site that will allow state residents to compare prices offered by Vermont pharmacies for prescription medications, the AP/Boston Globereports. Using the site, consumers can select their medication, town orcounty and view a list of prices offered for various drugs in areapharmacies.

Sorrell and Assistant Attorney General Julie Brillsaid that drug prices for commonly prescribed medications can vary by30% or more at pharmacies in the same area. Sorrell said, "Giveconsumers good information, and they can make smart buying decisions.As the already high cost of drugs goes even higher, this comparisonshopping tool should be a great help to price-conscious Vermonters."

However, Earl Pease, chair of the state Board of Pharmacy,called the Web site a "waste of time." He said that "customary" pricesposted by pharmacies with state officials are not indicative of thecopayments most insured people pay when they purchase prescriptions, orthe discounted payments public and private insurance systems charge forthe drugs. Pease said that fewer than 5% of customers actually "pay thecash price; that's why I think the Web site is so futile." Pease saidhe was making comments on the Web site as a pharmacist, not as chair ofthe board (AP/Boston Globe, 7/11).

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