Before the story airs: WRAL Investigates: Generic prescription overcharging

Posted October 30, 2014
Updated November 3, 2014

I'm very lucky to have health insurance that includes prescription drug coverage. If I need to get a prescription filled, I go to my pharmacy and pay a small co-pay. Assuming the medication is expensive, I'm thankful for only having to pay $10 (in most cases) for a month's supply. Insurance should give you the best deal on your prescription meds, right?


Hundreds of generic prescription medications can be bought for LESS than your insurance co-pay. These drugs treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and arthritis. They include antibiotics, antidepressants and pain relievers. In fact, we found out those low prices are available to everyone, whether they have insurance or not.

WRAL Investigates reveals the true cost of generic medications. We looked into how much pharmacies across the country pay for nearly every prescribed drug in the U.S. Chances are the generic meds you and your family are taking -- really only cost just pennies a pill. Sure, pharmacies have to make a profit. But as one doctor put it -- you're likely "getting ripped off." WRAL Investigates lets you know where you can find generic prescription drugs for cheaper than what you would pay with insurance elsewhere. We talked with one woman who takes six prescription drugs and found she could save hundreds of dollars a year, just by shopping around! We also reached out to the North Carolina Association of Pharmacists for comment on this story.

If you're paying the insurance co-pay on a generic medication, you're likely paying too much.

Watch Monday at 5:30 p.m. to find out how you can save on your prescription medication costs. Watch a preview of the story below:


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  • rtmarcellus Oct 31, 2014

    I am tired of doctors telling their patients what they "know" is going on at pharmacies and other providers. As I always tell our customers, the doctor doesn't work here, or for your insurance company. He has no idea how it works. Would the doctor named in the story accept a fee of $4.00? It would be nice if you had consulted a pharmacist instead of a doctor. You are not just paying for the drug, but the knowledge of an educated, trained professional. But this is what passes for journalism these days- scare tactics, and making people angry about being "cheated". Disgusting.

  • maddog33 Oct 31, 2014

    Firstly, you asked an MD? Probably one that sends his patients to Walgreens for $4 scripts...which have never existed there. Wal-Mart offers $4 scripts for people to get lost in the store and shop. Their pharmacy is a LOSS LEADER. They are LOSING money every time they fill a $4 script and they know it. Do your research correctly, and ask an actual pharmacist how much things cost next time you do your biased journalism. I can't imagine how feedback would be if you went and asked a pharmacist if you were getting over charged for your services at the doctor's office.

  • oharper75 Oct 31, 2014

    I do hope that you are going to report that it COSTS pharmacies around $10 to fill a prescription BEFORE any pills are even put in the bottle. From the labor costs, to the cost of the vial, there are a lot of costs that need to be taken into account before you even can consider that profit that you begrudgingly agree that a pharmacy should make. So you need to take that into account before telling people that they are getting ripped off for paying 10 bucks for $4 dollar meds. For every prescription that a pharmacy charges $4 for, no matter how cheap the drug inside the vial is, they are LOSING around $6.