Pandemic Journal, Day 567

My ex-VP, John Patrick, sends out a weekly newsletter; last week’s edition was titled “How Big Is the Big Pharma Lobby?” and he covered some of the same territory I’d talked about at Toastmasters last week. He mentioned Amazon Pharmacy in that article; it looks good for long-term prescriptions when you have a few days of lead time. But if you need a prescription sooner, Amazon Pharmacy also offers a Prescription Discount Benefit card which works at CVS (and many other places).

We used the Amazon card at CVS a couple of days ago for a new prescription for Diane that wasn’t covered by her insurance; it cut the price by 70%.

Today, I needed to refill my prescription for high-strength fluoride toothpaste (not covered by my insurance). Amazon’s price, delivered, is $2.54 for a tube, but I didn’t have the time to wait for delivery, so I took the prescription to CVS. When I went to pick it up, the price on the bag was $47.99! Amazon’s card doesn’t cover this particular item, but others do – I picked RxGo which showed a price of $10.56 for one tube and gave the pharmacy the info. The clerk punched in the codes and told me that the new price was $14.71 – I decided that was ok (there are always weasel words on the cards saying that the prices are approximate) and paid.

When I got home, I discovered that there were three tubs in the bag, not one (the prescription was for a 90-day supply). So I wound up getting the toothpaste for a bit under $5/tube – less than half of the price that the discount card showed.

I’m very confused.