In this report
Overview
What this guide can do
The science behind BBD
The generic advantage
11 Rx drug strategies
How much you could save
Free resources

BUY THE MAGAZINE
Our new magazine can help you find the right medicine for the lowest price.

March 2009
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How much you could save by switching to a Best Buy Drug

The table below compares the cost of taking our Best Buy drugs with that of higher-priced branded medicines. As you'll see, making a switch could save you up to $275 a month, or over $3,000 a year. All prices are for a 30-day supply except as noted.

Condition Brand-Name or Top-Selling Drug   Consumer Reports Best Buy Drug Monthly Savings with the Best Buy Comments
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Strattera
One 18mg pill per day
$176
vs. Methylphenidate
Two 20mg pills per day
$40
$136 ADHD drugs may be overused. But they can help when prescribed correctly. Get an accurate diagnosis.
Cholesterol: High LDL Lipitor
One 10mg pill per day
$101
vs. Lovastatin
One 20mg pill per day
$18
$83 Applicable only if you need to lower your LDL ("bad") cholesterol by less than 30%.
Depression Lexapro
One 20mg pill per day
$107
vs. Fluoxetine
One 20mg pill per day
$26
$81 Most antidepressants are now available as generics. There's no reason to start with a brand-name drug.
Diabetes (Type 2) Actos
One 30mg pill per day
$232
vs. Metformin
Two 1000mg pills per day
$20
$212 Many people with diabetes need to take two drugs, but starting with just metformin is your best first step.
Heartburn and GERD Nexium
One 20mg pill per day
$215
vs. Omeprazole
One 20mg pill per day
$15
$200 Omeprazole is available as a nonprescription drug. See a doctor if you have heartburn two or more times per week for several weeks.
Insomnia Lunesta
One 2mg pill at bedtime
$93 for 15 pills
vs. Zolpidem
One 10mg pill at bedtime
$33 for 15 pills
$60 Don't take sleeping pills every night for more than ten days. Zolpidem varies in price for 15 pills. Shop around.
Osteoarthritis, Joint Pain Celebrex
Two 200mg pills per day
$296
vs. Ibuprofen
Three 400mg pills per day
$21
$275 You can buy ibuprofen as an over-the-counter drug, but stronger doses are also available by prescription.
Schizophrenia Seroquel
Two 100mg pills per day
$320
vs. Perphenazine
Three 8mg pills per day
$90
$230 Antipsychotic drugs have major side effects, and response to them is highly variable.
Prices are the national retail average for commonly prescribed doses, derived from data collected by Wolters Kluwer Health, Pharmaceutical Audit Suite.
 
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