Chain stores aren’t always the cheapest

by Caleb Reading

I currently work part-time in an independent, rural drugstore. I can say from experience that what we pay for a drug is higher than what a chain pays, because we can only buy a select few very common drugs in bulk (and we don’t pay kickbacks to anybody).

That being said, we’ve still had dozens of people over the past couple years transfer all their prescriptions to us, and drive out of the way to come to our store, because they called around and found out we still had the cheapest prices around for cash patients. One woman was on 6 Rx’s a month, and she said the second-cheapest store in the area was still quoting her a price that was $60 a month higher than ours for the same 6 Rx’s. We then told her one of the drugs has been available in a generic for a few months, and another one was available in an easy-to-halve double strength (and we’d cut them in half for her if she wanted us to). That made her savings per month go to over $100. She was, needless to say, furious that no one at her previous (chain) pharmacy ever told her any of this. We’ve gained at least 6 customers from her good word-of-mouth.