Cost of Buying Viagra at CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart Pharmacy
Viagra can be purchased online as well as from bricks and mortar pharmacies.
What You’ll Pay for Prescription Viagra Pills at Major U.S. Pharmacies
If you live in the United States, you are probably used to high costs for prescription drugs. Even the largest pharmacy chains — like CVS, Walgreens, and Walmart — can only reduce costs so much with their enormous bulk purchases.
When it comes to buying 10 Viagra tablets of 100mg each. costs are as follows at each of these chain pharmacies:
- CVS: $446.99 ($44.70 per tablet)
- Walgreens: $420.99 ($42.10 per tablet)
- Walmart: $421.20 ($42.12 per tablet)
There are ways to work around these costs. For example, many pharmacies price 100mg tablets the same as 50mg tablets.
That means if a physician deliberately prescribes 100mg tablets for someone who needs 50mg tablets the patient can cut the 100mg tablets in half and essentially get their Viagra for half price.
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A large number of men with ED prefer to use online facilitators like AccessRX.com to fill their prescriptions for erectile dysfunction drugs. For only $20 more per order than your local pharmacy, the benefits by ordering online outweigh the costs of going to your local pharmacy. Customers choose Accessrx.com due to cost, convenience, or to maintain privacy. Some men are uncomfortable with the idea of their local pharmacist knowing that they take an ED drug, and so they use an online pharmacy for privacy and have the medications delivered right to their door.
Sales of ED drugs have soared as baby boomers approach retirement.
The Cost of Treating ED
The cost of treating erectile dysfunction is a subject of increasing interest as baby boomers approach retirement age. The incidence of ED increases with age, and with health conditions such as diabetes and coronary artery disease. But with the cost per tablet at around $30, the expense can be difficult to justify for many people. Furthermore, neither Medicare nor many private insurance plans covers the cost of ED drugs.
In 2005, Congress removed coverage for ED drugs from both Medicare and Medicaid, and many self-funded health coverage plans and private insurers followed their lead. A number of health insurance programs contractually excluded treatment for ED shortly after Viagra was introduced to the market back in 1998.
In the clinical journal Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics . M.C. Hornbrook and J. Holup of The Center for Health Research, Kaiser Permanente, asserted that exclusion of insurance coverage of ED drugs “is arbitrary and discriminatory (particularly against older men) and has no business, medical, or ethical rationale. Coverage of ED prescriptions should be included in basic health benefits by all public and private payers and health-care delivery systems when indicated to maintain, restore, or compensate for loss of function caused by disease, injury, or medical treatment.”
This should not discourage men with ED from discussing their concerns with a physician. Many doctors are willing to work with patients to help get the costs down, with techniques like the process described above of prescribing 100mg tablets that can be cut in half.
Only a Fraction of Men with Erectile Dysfunction Use ED Drugs
Insurance companies excluded Erectile Dysfunction drugs from their contracts for fear that the costs would be prohibitive. However, a study of a managed care claim database of 28 million individuals in 51 health plans in the U.S found 285,436 claims for men with ED whose health plans covered ED treatment.
The estimated cost of ED care — including physician evaluation, diagnostic procedures, and ED drugs — in health plans with 100,000 members or more was only about 71 cents per member.
Insurance plans that cover ED drugs are able to control costs by limiting dispensing of ED drugs. For example, one plan allows coverage of up to 6 tablets per month, with plan members paying out of pocket if they want more. One study estimated median annual Viagra use at only 29 tablets per year, or around 2.5 tablets per month. Whether such studies will eventually result in more plans covering ED drugs remains to be seen.
Inflation rates for drug costs have far exceeded national inflation rates.
Changes in Costs of ED Drugs
Since its introduction to the market in 1998, the price of Viagra has risen by more than 100%. The same has been true of Cialis, which increased in price even more rapidly. While many generic drug makers were looking forward to the expiration of Pfizer Inc.’s patent for Viagra in late March 2012, a court ruling in August 2011 is putting the kibosh on generic versions.
According to a report by Bloomberg News. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. in particular was blocked from marketing a generic version of Viagra until 2019.
The court ruling was a surprise, according to Bloomberg’s Asthika Goonewardene, who said, “The patent was a method-of-use patent, and usually these don’t hold up that well in court for small molecular drugs. The court’s decision to uphold this patent means other filers wanting to enter in 2012 are not likely to do so then.”
While some men will take chances with so-called generics from overseas, the FDA has shown that many counterfeit medications entering the U.S. are ineffective or even harmful.
A 2011 court ruling may mean delays for generic ED drugs coming onto the market.
Reactions from Organizations like AARP
The increase in prices for ED drugs only reflects the overall trend toward high rates of inflation for pharmaceuticals. A 2010 report by the AARP says that around 75% of prescriptions in the U.S. are generic, and that in 2009 the costs of most popular name-brand drugs increased by more than 8%, despite the fact that U.S. consumer prices on average that year actually dropped by about 0.5%.
From 2004 to 2010, overall inflation was 13.3%, yet the cost of non-generic drugs increased by 41.5% over that same time period.
These increases hit older Americans particularly hard. Many Medicare recipients are instructed to use name-brand drugs, yet choose generics to avoid reaching the “donut hole” in Medicare drug coverage. Once medication costs surpass $2,830 in a year, the recipient must foot the entire bill for medications until costs reach $4,550.
From 1998 to 2006, Viagra’s wholesale price went up by 36.4%, followed by an additional 78.1% price hike from 2006 to 2010. And with the court ruling against Teva Pharmaceuticals, price relief may be slow in arriving.
For those interested in getting a great price on ED drugs like Viagra, online facilitators like AccessRX.com provide competitive prices along with the discretion and privacy that many consumers want.
AccessRx is a USA corporation founded in 1998. Since, we have become one of the top online providers in FDA-approved, brand-name medications. We specializes in providing our over 500,000 customers with relevant product and condition information created by our professional editorial staff which includes our team of medical writers, medical practitioners and health educators. AccessRx Staff on Facebook
Mary Hiers – AccessRx Medical Writer
Mary Hiers is a full-time writer with a background in engineering and print journalism as well as writing about a wide variety of health care topics. She lives in Tennessee and is the author of two works of fiction. Mary earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Tennessee and the University of Tennessee Space Institute. Mary Hiers on Google+
Lisa Furgison – AccessRx Medical Writer
As a journalist Lisa enjoys writing about a variety of topics. Over the course of the last ten years she has been involved in television news as well as print and online publications. Medical news has always been a favorite for this native New Yorker because she gets to stay on top of the latest developments in a rapidly changing field. Lisa Furgison on Google+
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