Las Vegas fares well in prescription drug price comparison

Updated July 10, 2018 - 7:12 pm

Las Vegas ranks near the bottom in many health care categories, but this time it’s a good thing.

The prescription drug-tracking website GoodRx rated Las Vegas one of the least-expensive metropolitan areas in the country for out-of-pocket prescription drugs in a new report.

The reason for the city’s No. 9 ranking is unclear, largely because of a lack of transparency in prescription drug pricing, said Thomas Goetz, GoodRx’s chief of research.

“We can’t point to one single reason why there’s so much variation, but the fact that there is so much variation I think underscores the confusion and befuddlement and, frankly, pain that comes with prescription medication and prescription prices,” Goetz said.

For its survey, GoodRx used data it compiled for its proprietary online tool, which enables consumers to compare prescription drug prices in their area and download money-saving coupons.

The report looked at cash prices for the 500 most popular drugs in the country’s 30 most populous cities. “(Las

Las Vegas’ prices were 9.4 percent below the national average. Columbus, Ohio, had the lowest prices, with drugs costing 21.7 percent below the national figure on average.

In some cities, higher cost of living corresponded to higher prices, but not so in Las Vegas, where the Council for Community and Economic Research reports the cost of living to be 2.5 percent above the national average.

Las Vegas is likely among the cities benefiting from the availability of big-box stores that sell generic medications, often at cheaper prices, Goetz said.

Walmart, for example, sells a list of generic drugs at $4 for a one-month supply or $10 for a 90-day stash, according to the company’s website. And there are 28 Walmart pharmacies in the valley.

But Goetz said the report points to a lack of transparency on the part of drug manufacturers in setting costs.

Lowering drug prices has been a hot topic in Washington. Most recently, President Donald Trump lashed out at Pfizer on Monday after the company raised prices on about 100 drugs on July 1.

But Goetz criticized the talk as just that.

“There’s been a lot of smoke and not a lot of movement,” he said. “Until there’s some real progress or movement from drugmakers or from the government on a regulator level, until there’s some changes, the only thing consumers can do is they can be savvier.”

Leiana Oswald, associate professor of pharmacy practice at Roseman University of Health Sciences in Henderson, said tools like GoodRx can be useful for consumers and pharmacists. She said customers should also get in the habit of asking for coupons at the pharmacy counter, checking for discounts through the drug manufacturer and comparing a drug’s cash price to the cost after insurance.

“I think that the best thing that patients can do is to be that squeaky wheel, to ask those questions,” she said.

Contact Jessie Bekker at jbekker@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4563. Follow @jessiebekks on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Local
Downtown Summerlin hosts its annual Festival of Arts
People crowd to Downtown Summerlin for the 23rd annual Summerlin Festival of Arts in Las Vegas, Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018. (Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Clark County educators debate alternative grading systems
Spring Valley High School principal Tam Larnerd, Spring Valley High School IB coordinator Tony Gebbia and retired high school teacher Joyce O'Day discuss alternative grading systems. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Grandparents on the fire that killed three family members
Charles and Doris Smith talk about the night an apartment fire took the lives of three of their family members. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
New York artist Bobby Jacobs donated a sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden
Bobby Jacobs, an artist from upstate New York, has spent much of the past year creating a sculpture of two separate angel wings. He donated the sculpture to the Las Vegas Healing Garden. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Weather will cool slightly through the end of the week
The weather will cool slightly through the end of the week., but highs are still expected to be slightly above normal for this year. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Mayor announces new public-private partnership
Mayor Carolyn Goodman announced the creation of the Mayor’s Fund for Las Vegas LIFE, a public-private partnership that will allocate money to the city’s neediest.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Fall fairytale gets cozy at Bellagio Conservatory
Bellagio Conservatory introduces its fall-themed garden titled "Falling Asleep." (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
What the house that Ted Binion died in looks like today
Casino heir Ted Binion died in this Las Vegas home in 1998. Current home owner Jane Popple spent over $600,000 to restore and modernize the home. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Rescue Mission employees terminated
Don James, a former employee for the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, talks about the day his team was terminated. (Erik Verduzco/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders Cupcakes at Freed's Bakery
Freed's Bakery will have Raiders-themed cupcakes available in store and for order during football season. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s fans say goodbye to Cashman Field
Las Vegas 51s fans said goodbye to Cashman Field in Las Vegas, Monday September, 3, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
51s owner Don Logan's last weekend at Cashman Field
Don Logan, owner of the Las Vegas 51s, gives a tour of Cashman Field before the team's final weekend using the field. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Metro Asst. Sheriff Brett Zimmerman on Aug. 8 officer-involved shooting
Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Brett Zimmerman met with media Monday to discuss the details of the 14th officer-involved shooting of the year. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program
Matt Kelly Elementary School hosted its third annual Back-to-School Red Carpet Program where community and business leaders joined to welcome students back with an inspirational welcome. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Star Trek fans on show’s enduring popularity
Star Trek fans at the Star Trek Convention 2018 talk about why they think the show has stayed popular across the years Thursday, August 2, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nonprofit provides clothing for homeless
Sydney Grover of Can You Spare A Story?, talks about how she founded the non-profit organization. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Life
Celebrity photographer dedicates dance book to Las Vegas shooting victims
Behind the scenes with local celebrity photographer Jerry Metellus as he talks about his Dance For Vegas coffee book dedicated to the 58 victims of the October 1 shooting. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Dreamsickle Kids Foundation founder Gina Glass talks awareness
Gina Glass, 35, founded Dreamsickle Kids Foundation to raise awareness for sickle cell disease in Nevada. (Jessie Bekker/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Meadows School founding kindergarten teacher retires after 34 years at the school
Linda Verbon, founder of the The Meadows School's kindergarten program and the first faculty member hired at the school, retired in the spring after 34 years at The Meadows. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kids become firefighters at Fire Station 98 open house
Henderson residents wore fire hats, learned about CPR and met firefighters at the Fire Station 98 open house Saturday, August 11, 2018. (Marcus Villagran Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
People from all over the world attend RollerCon 2018
RollerCon 2018 is a five-day convention focused on the roller derby community and culture at Westgate in Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like