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Retail Drug Prices Vary Widely at Burlington-Area Pharmacies

September 25, 2003 - Contact: William Sorrell, Attorney General, (802) 828-0269, Julie Brill, Assistant Attorney General, (802) 828-3658

Attorney General William H. Sorrell announced today that an August survey his office conducted of Burlington-area pharmacies showed wide price disparities in the regular “walk-up” retail prices for a variety of prescription drugs.

“When the same amount of the same drug costs three times more at one area pharmacy than another, we’re talking real money here. Smart consumers will shop around,” said Attorney General Sorrell.

The Attorney General’s survey focused on 11 of the most popular medications taken by senior citizens. The survey demonstrated that out of the 11 prescription drugs included in the survey, six – or more than 50% -- had a price disparity of 200% or more. Seven pharmacies located in the greater Burlington area participated in the survey, which was conducted on August 13th. Four other pharmacies did not respond to the survey.

The survey also revealed that many pharmacies offer discounts to seniors and will meet their competitors’ lower price, if a consumer calls it to their attention. The Attorney General encouraged consumers to ask pharmacies about their prices and policies.

“If you learn that a nearby pharmacy is charging less for a particular drug, you should bring this to your pharmacist’s attention. Almost all the pharmacies surveyed indicated that they would match their competitor’s prices, if asked,” said Sorrell.

Complete survey results are available at Prescription Drug Price Survey, including pharmacies that failed to respond to the Attorney General’s request for information about prices.

  Website consulting provided by The National Association of Attorneys General.