CLEVELAND — The average American spends $1,000 on medications every year. That's the highest of any other country in the world – but now there are websites that promise to help you lower those costs.
After her 9-year-old daughter Shelby was recently diagnosed with diabetes, Marisa Langford quickly learned controlling her disease takes time, technology, and money.
In addition to Shelby, two of her other children take daily prescriptions for an adrenal deficiency – making their monthly prescription costs skyrocket to $300.
In hopes of finding a money-saving solution, Langford searched her family’s medications on three websites, all which claim to slash prescription costs: goodrx.com, blinkhealth.com, and hellohippo.com.
GoodRx lets you compare prescription drug prices and find coupons at more than 60,000 pharmacies. The website says with a coupon, shoppers can show the coupon to their pharmacist to save up to 80%.
This is how it works: once you type in a prescription, you get a side by side comparison of pharmacies near you.
After running Shelby’s insulin prescription through GoodRx, Langford found some stores that would save her $120 for that medicine.
Next, Langford tried blinkhealth.com.
It claims to find shoppers a low "negotiated" price on medications. You pay on the website and either pick it up at the pharmacy or have it delivered, but keep in mind, not all of the pharmacies are local.
Then, Langford tried hellohippo.com, which requires shoppers to enter their cell phone number in exchange for a free prescription card with access to discounted drug prices through both big box and smaller local pharmacies.
Experts say even if shoppers have insurance it's wise to shop around, the co-pay may actually be higher than the discounted price offered on these websites.
That’s what happened to Langford.
“Normally it is a straight up $15 co pay,” Langford said. “At Walgreens it is $8.48.”
While that out of pocket cost may not count toward your deductible, it could offer a short term solution to a hefty price tag.
WMAR in Baltimore contributed to this report.