Should we allow adopt a big retailer approach to common prescription medication provision? Elizabeth Tracey reports


If Medicare adopted the approach taken by Costco in buying and providing common prescription medications the system would save billions of dollars, a recent study showed. Caleb Alexander, an internal medicine expert at Johns Hopkins, says he’s not surprised.

Alexander: I think that this study is a reminder of the potential cost savings for all of us in using generic drugs whenever possible. Generic drugs are just as good as their branded alternatives. For drugs that are dispensed where there’s the option of them being used either a generic or a branded product, the vast vast majority are dispensed as generics. Even when it’s a generic there may be cost savings with using a retailer, Costco, Walmart, Target, rather than filling this through one’s insurance.  :33

Alexander says until policy decisions are made individuals can choose options that cost them less. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.