Here’s What Gayle Did When Her Mail Order Pharmacy Got Too Expensive

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Katie Mui
Katie Mui is on the Research Team at GoodRx.
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Skipping the pharmacy line and getting your prescriptions mailed to you may seem like an easy choice, but as Gayle learned, mail order pharmacies don’t always offer the best price.

For years, Gayle had relied on a mail order pharmacy to fill her prescription for estradiol patches, simply because her insurer had offered it as a member benefit. She didn’t think — or rather didn’t know — that she was actually paying too much for her medications. In fact, prices for estradiol medications have been increasing nationwide over the past few years. As the price for a 3-month supply of those patches rose from roughly $50, to $100 the next year, and then $200 the next, Gayle discovered that GoodRx could help her find cheaper options.

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Gayle is a new retiree who dedicates most of her time nowadays to helping out with youth horse groups, fostering dogs and cats, and volunteering with Marin County in California to record beach life, plants, and beach use. She’s in her early sixties and started using estradiol several years ago to treat symptoms of menopause like night sweats and hot flashes. The patches also help with preventing osteoporosis, as estrogen (the hormone that estradiol replaces) improves calcium absorption from food and supports bone health.

She recounts, “I just accepted the price as most people do… Then it hit $280 a few years ago. That made me mad, and I began to look for alternatives and discount cards.” She found GoodRx while searching for ways to save online and immediately liked that she could see how prices at nearby pharmacies compared to what she was spending at the time.

Now, Gayle pays $108 instead of $280 for a 3-month supply of her estradiol patches, meaning that she saves at least $688 annually. She believes the amount she’s saving is probably even higher, but she hasn’t bothered to check what the mail order pharmacy currently charges – because the thought of it makes her too angry!

Gayle says that GoodRx has inspired her to find out if the benefits offered through her insurance are really her best options and to be much more proactive about searching for discount programs. “I don’t think my health benefits are benefits at all! I should have done this all long ago instead of just accepting what drug prices were!”

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