Summary of “Prescription Drugs May Cost More With Insurance Than Without It”

In an era when drug prices have ignited public outrage and insurers are requiring consumers to shoulder more of the costs, people are shocked to discover they can sometimes get better deals than their own insurers.
Pharmacy benefit managers, the companies that deal with drug benefits on behalf of insurers, often do negotiate better prices for consumers, particularly for brand-name medications, Mr. Rea said, but that’s not necessarily true for some generic drugs.
So when insurers seek deals for generic drugs, they do so in batches, reaching agreements for groups of different drugs rather than getting the lowest price on every drug.
In one case, a customer whose plan was managed by CVS Caremark, the drug benefit manager, would have had to pay more for a drug through her plan at a CVS than what she ended up paying at the same store, with a coupon from GoodRx.
Drug-discount cards have been around for decades, and retailers like Walmart have also offered cheap generic drug programs, but both were mainly used by people without insurance.
Reporters at ProPublica and The New York Times examined whether they could get better prices on 100 of the most prescribed drugs, identified by GoodRx, without using their insurance.
MedImpact has not yet formally responded to the allegations in federal court in New York.GoodRx, a private company founded in 2010, displays the deals it has with nine pharmacy benefit managers, each offering different prices for different drugs.
If those prescriptions are filled without an insurance card, pharmacy systems may not catch dangerous drug interactions.

The orginal article.