A New Discount Prescription Med Service

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by DryHeat, Aug 7, 2016.

  1. DryHeat

    DryHeat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,134
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2010
    A couple of the owners of a new med discounting company were being interviewed on a Sunday AM cable news show. (Wasn't an infomercial.) Looks to me like it's for real and could be a significant savings particularly for anyone going without insurance (like, choosing to pay the penalty rather than enrolling in Obamacare), and for *some* meds a better price than your copay (even with Medicare), and even for some a lower price than with ADC (All Day Chemist). website: https://www.blinkhealth.com/ "Blink." You look something up that you have a prescription for, pay them by credit card online, get a voucher to print out, take to your regular pharmacy that has the prescription in their records, and there's no extra cost, no copay. Most pharmacies accept it: Walgreens, WalMart, CVS, Fry's, Safeway, etc. A quick search shows a couple of meds DW has prescriptions for, Zetia and Celebrex, are vastly less expensive still as ADC "generics" from India. However, several others, generics, that we use and get from local pharmacies are a few bucks less through Blink than our Medicare copays; come renewal time for them I'll try their process. Clearly, though, you have to do searches comparing normal prices to these guys and select among them!

    Apparently one of the savings that allows this outfit to cut prices and enroll pharmacies is that overall something like 1/3 of prescriptions set out for pickup are simply left unclaimed, assumedly mostly due to the prices. Others are taken at half-doses to save money. There's efficiency savings for pharmacies not to have to restock, and to sell the full recommended quantities monthly. Maybe the numbers say they'll get to cut back employee hours and payroll eventually this way, too. Joy. Anyway, I've stuck their link in my bookmarks right under ADC's. Can't hurt to give it a try, I suppose.
     
  2. anniew

    anniew keep it simple and honest Supporter

    Messages:
    2,618
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2002
    Location:
    NE PA
    At my Walmart, they say that if you don't pick it up in a week (maybe 10 days, I forget), they put it back in stock, so no loss to them.

    But the idea you bring up may be good, at least to compare prices. But if I don't have a prescription in hand, some places won't even quote a price.

    Many states are instituting ONLY electronic prescriptions as supposedly a way to keep phony prescriptions from occurring. But, I think it is a way to insure that certain companies get your business, as you have to designate a certain pharmacy for doctors to send it to them, and no written prescription to use to go to other places to compare prices. And, there are huge differences in what different places charge. Some mom and pop pharmacies beat chain prices, and visa versa.

    I also see this new business the OP mentions as something that some won't use because they don't use/have credit cards.
     

  3. CajunSunshine

    CajunSunshine Joie de vivre!

    Messages:
    1,712
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Location:
    North, sometimes South of Sane

    There's your red flag. A legit arrangement of this kind should NOT ask you to pay online.

    An example of a better arrangement can be found here: http://www.goodrx.com/

    You go online, look up your prescription drug, choose which pharmacy you want to do business with (different pharmacies offer different prices), get the code for the discount, bring the code to the pharmacy, PAY THE PHARMACY when you pick up the prescription.

    No online monkey business. At all. You don't need to give the online entity your name, email or anything. (GoodRx will ask for your email, but only IF you want a GoodRx card, which is convenient, but not needed. I don't have one, but still enjoy the great discounts.)

    I have done business this way many times and enjoyed up to 80% discounted prescriptions without paying online, or anywhere else other than the pharmacy of my choice.



    .
     
    RichNC likes this.
  4. MrDispenser

    MrDispenser New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2015
    As a pharmacist I have to admit I'm not a fan of this Blink program. I have only seen it used 2-3 times at my pharmacy so far...

    The problem is so,'s you are pre-paying online, you had better make sure the prescription you are paying Blink for is EXACTLY the same as what your doctor wrote. You need to make sure you have the right drug, right strength, and the right quantity (note that sometimes doctors send over slightly different prescriptions than what you were expecting).
     
  5. CajunSunshine

    CajunSunshine Joie de vivre!

    Messages:
    1,712
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2007
    Location:
    North, sometimes South of Sane
    Thank you for your input Mr. D!

    My thinking is that the way Blink does business is a handy-dandy way to harvest credit/debit card numbers...

    It is especially telling when the same service is given by other companies without the need for sacrificing credit card number or other payment info.


    .
     
  6. DryHeat

    DryHeat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,134
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2010
    And your research documenting this statement isn't just something you're making up on the spot? Some of their prices looked lower than others I've seen (and I do research at ADC and CostCo pharmacies), and I'm pretty certain any card number harvesting would result in the cc companies putting them out of business post haste. So a pharmacist finds this post inside twelve hours and makes his first and only posting here saying he doesn't like the company. Maybe his hours are some of those that stand to get reduced? But, making certain the scrip is exactly what you order is a good pointer. Doesn't sound difficult to me. Probably would be a good idea to ask in person at any pharmacy you were going to fill an order at in advance if they know what you're talking about. Keep in mind, it was the odious Wal-Mart that suddenly launched a 300-item long list of generics for $4 a treatment course or whatever. Somehow Walgreens and many others had never thought of the concept and likely were charging 3x, 4x, whatever, those prices just because they could get away with it and were dragged kicking and screaming into talking about reduced generic prices like it was all out of the goodness of *their* hearts. Have you people even looked at the Blink site and read the FAQs? They give refunds if something messes up and in any event credit cards cover fraud losses, don't they?

    Get back to me if you see any actual reports of fraud involved, other than possibilities coming from near-paranoia. Their business model obviously calls for considerable volume sales, that might keep them from making it in the medium to long haul, but you could say the same about Groupon, Restaurant.com, AllDayChemist, and other sites that I've found have saved me considerable money over many years now, if used judiciously.
     
  7. MrDispenser

    MrDispenser New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2015
    I have been frequenting this forum for a long long time. I do not post much because I know I heck of a lot more about Pharmacy than I do about homesteading. But I do love the information that is available here.

    If Blink works for you and saves you money then great. The couple of experiences I have had with it have not gone well. The customers did get their drugs in the end but they ended up having to wait at the pharmacy longer than they would have otherwise as we figured out the billing.

    The way I see it, blink adds an extra step in the process. You pay up-front before you get your medications. You then need to supply the pharmacy with the billing information for this transaction (i.e. time spent waiting at the pharmacy) and then if everything matches you get your medications.

    Again, if the drug, strength, or quantity are different then it will take more time to resolve the issue and possibly having to call the doctor and change the order.
     
  8. DryHeat

    DryHeat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,134
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2010
    I will add to MrD's caution about being careful to make everything match up, actually, since just this morning I looked back at their search function and realized that the one med I do take daily that I thought I was looking at a major savings on, wasn't less at all, actually much higher, since their search and cost estimate was set for merely *three* tablets for a brief acute condition rather than my chronic daily treatment usage. With that one off the table, I actually don't see anything my wife or I are prescribed that isn't cheaper by ADC or locally very close to the same price with Medicare. I still think anyone *not* having decent health insurance should try the site for price comparisons, especially if travel considerations limit your choice of competing local pharmacies. I will agree that using them could easily be a "time is money" consideration, perhaps being practical much more if one has more time than money, at least during everyone's initial learning curve.
     
  9. Murby

    Murby Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,367
    Joined:
    May 24, 2016
    ProgressiveRX... best prices anywhere...
     
  10. ufo_chris

    ufo_chris Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,010
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Location:
    Lisbon,Ohio
    I put the app on my phone a couple of months ago because I read about it somewhere but it did not give me any better prices and we have no insurance for drugs.
    I use the GoodRx app to find the cheapest prices and then give you coupons you show the pharmacist.
    I just had two prescriptions filled that way and after those coupons it did give me the price it Listed.
     
  11. Grits57

    Grits57 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    144
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2008
    Location:
    Tenn/Ga
    I have found that Costco has the most competitive costs out there. One of my meds at CVS was $85 compared to $9 at Costco.
    You don't have to be a member to use their pharmacy. Many are unaware of this fact. That is also true for Sam's.
     
  12. Aidenwillson

    Aidenwillson New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2017
    Else go online, look up your prescription drug, choose which pharmacy you want to do buy with, many pharmacies offer different prices. Get the code for the discount, bring the code to the pharmacy. Buy and pay when you pick up the prescription.