(NEW YORK) — After ABC News’ “Real Money” piece last week on saving thousands on prescription drugs, many of ABC News’ viewers inquired about how easy it was to use the money-saving apps suggested by expert Michelle Katz.
So, Katz, a health care advocate, joined up with the ABC News team again and Doug Hirsch, the CEO of the popular app GoodRx.
Here’s how the app works: Type in the drug and your location and the app will look for coupons as well as the best price for the drug in your area. Download the coupons to your smartphone or print them out from the GoodRx website.
GoodRx.com also provides the pharmacy’s number and gives directions to get there.
Using the GoodRx app, the “Real Money” team found that in the Santa Monica area, where California retiree Lynda Bezdek lives, prices ranged from nearly $15 to almost $150 for a 30-day supply of 40 mg of the generic brand of Lipitor.
“It’s shocking,” Bezdek said.
The “Real Money” team learned that medication prices depended on numerous variables, such as a pharmacy’s contract with each drug supplier, discounts and coupons.
Although the Food and Drug Administration monitors the products, Hirsch said the agency does not regulate price, so consumers have to pay whatever the pharmacy charges — at times a 20 percent to 80 percent price difference for the same drug.
Thanks to GoodRx, though, Bezdek was able to cut her prescription bills in half, saving $2,280 on her medication.
“I am not tech savvy and I think this [the app] is very easy to use,” she said. “That’s real money.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Magdala Louissaint, KPVI
Jamiel Lynch and Debra Goldschmidt, CNN
Susan Scutti, CNN