COSTCO Best Prices on Prescription Medications

It pays to be an informed consumer

COSTCO Provides the BEST PRICES on Prescription Medicine

I am fortunate that I take very little in the way of prescription medicines. I have been a vegetarian for years and believe in natural remedies. I drink plenty of water, get plenty of sleep, practice yoga, engage in work I love, and have practiced my own form of meditation/prayer for 30 years. I am surrounded by loving friends and tickled daily by a fur-family of four. Just to be sure, I take numerous supplements each day. There is one little medical pill, however, that I take religiously and in the past has cost approximately $150 per month.

Recently, at the Costco Pharmacy where I have shopped for eons, the total cost for the same medicine came to just under $15. I smiled broadly and said, "Ahhhh, that I wish it were true, however, there must be a mistake and I would hate for you to be blamed for it at the end of the day . . ." The cashier smiled even more broadly and informed me that many prescription drugs that had been reduced drastically!

This lovely, unexpected surprise made me wonder how much it actually COST for the active ingredient in my prescription medication!? Previously, I thought it must be a lot, since my prescription had long cost more than $3.00 per daily pill. Don't get me wrong, I am a born and bred capitalist! But my social conscience limits my profits so something that resembles reasonable! Alas, the drug companies do not feel the same way!!

Life Extension did a search of offshore chemical synthesizing companies that supply many of the active ingredients found in drugs approved by the FDA for drugs sold in the United States.

Many of the active ingredients (listed below) are made in other countries.

CELEBREX: 100 mg

Consumer price (100 tablets): $130.27

Cost of general active ingredients: $ 0.60

Percent markup: 21,712%

CLARITIN: 10 mg

Consumer Price (100 tablets): $215.17

Cost of general active ingredients: $0.71

Percent markup: 30,306%

KEFLEX: 250 mg

Consumer Price (100 tablets): $157.39

Cost of general active ingredients: $1.88

Percent markup: 8,372%

LIPITOR: 20 mg

Consumer Price (100 tablets): $272.37

Cost of general active ingredients: $5.80

Percent markup: 4,696%

PAXIL: 20 mg

Consumer price (100 tablets): $220.27

Cost of general active ing! redients: $7.60

Percent markup: 2,898%

PREVACID: 30 mg

Consumer price (100 tablets): $44.77

Cost of general active ingredients: $1.01

Percent markup: 34,136%

PRILOSEC: 20 mg

Consumer price (100 tablets): $360.97

Cost of general active ingredients $0.52

Percent markup: 69,417%

PROZAC: 20 mg

Consumer price (100 tablets) : $247.47

Cost of general active ingredients: $0.11

Percent markup: 224,973%

TENORMIN: 50 mg

Consumer price (100 tablets): $104.47

Cost of general active ingredients: $0.13

Percent markup: 80,362%

VASOTEC: 10 mg

Consumer price (100 tablets): $102.37

Cost of general active ingredients: $0.20

Percent markup: 51,185%

XANAX: 10 mg

Consumer price (100 tablets) : $136.79

Cost of general active ingredients: $0.024

Percent markup: 569,958%

ZESTRIL: 20 mg

Consumer price (100 tablets) $89.89

Cost of general active ingredients $3.20

Percent markup: 2,809%

ZITHROMAX: 600 mg

Consumer price (100 tablets): $1,482.19

Cost of general active ingredients: $18.78

Percent markup: 7,892%

ZOCOR: B 40 mg

Consumer price (100 tablets): $350.27

Cost of general active ingredients: $8.63

Percent markup: 4,059%

ZOLOFT: 50 mg

Consumer price: $206.87 (90 tablets)

Cost of general active ingredients: $1.75

Percent markup: 11,821%

Although Costco is a Members-Only store, you do NOT have to be a member to buy prescriptions there (or alcohol or eye glasses) as those items are federally regulated. Just tell one of the Costco Representatives at the door that you wish to use the pharmacy (or purchase alcohol or eyeglasses) and they will assign you a "chaperon" while you are in the store to do your business. If you are NOT a member, Costco will not take checks nor credit cards so have cash on hand!

I understand that WalMart is starting a new policy where many generic drugs will be sold for $4.00 per prescription in many states very soon. It pays to be "informed consumers."

http://www.lef.org (Life Extension)

http://www.snopes.com/medical/drugs/generic.asp (Snopes)

http://www.costco.com/pharmacy (Costco)

Comments 33 comments

Earth Angel 5 years ago

Hi Soma! Just call your local Costco or Sam's Club and thay will do their best! I bet they beat the price you have now! Blessings, Earth Angel!


SOMA 5 years ago

I need a price match QUOTE


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Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Thank you Patio Furniture Tables!

I appreciate the compliments! It certainly is the time of year for new patio furniture!

Blessings always, Earth Angel!


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Patio Furniture Tables wrote 22 minutes ago:

Love your site..great content and resources.

Keep up the good work.


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Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

debbiedots just asked: How much does 90 Innohep 18000iu safety syringes cost at Costco?

Dearest debbiedots,

Thank you for the question; alas, I have no idea - I am very healthy, don't take any prescriptions and take only vitamins!

The prices of prescriptions are so different in different parts of the country -- and depending upon whether you have insurance or not!

Just call your local Costco or Sam's Club or Big Box and they will give you an instant quote over the phone, no questions asked!

Blessings to you and yours, EarthAngel!


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Bettygrayson just asked: How much is 100 Accudose Glucose Sticks at Costco?

Dearest Betty,

Thank you for the question; alas, I have no idea - I am very healthy, don't take any prescriptions and take only vitamins!

The prices of prescriptions are so different in different parts of the country -- and depending upon whether you have insurance or not!

Just call your local Costco or Sam's Club or Big Box and they will give you an instant quote over the phone, no questions asked!

Blessings to you and yours, EarthAngel!


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Anita Sy just asked: How much is 90 synthroid 25mcg at Costco?

Dearest Anita,

Thank you for the question; alas, I have no idea - I am very healthy, don't take any prescriptions and only take vitamins! Plus, the prices of prescriptions are so different in different parts of the country -- and depending upon whether you have insurance or not!

Just call your local Costco or Sam's Club or Big Box and they will give you an instant quote over the phone, no questions asked!

Blessings to you and yours, EarthAngel!


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Alan48 wrote:Zoloft: 50mg, 90 tablets for $69.99

Hi Alan,

Alas I know you are incorrect on that one! Costco sells 100mg, 90 tablets for under $20.00 in California! A friend of mine gets them all the time!

Thanks for commenting however!

Blessings always, EarthAngel!


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Blessings to you this morning MissDebs!

Thank you for inquiring about generic drugs vs. Lamictal! Alas, that would be something only your doctor or a qualified pharmacist would be able to answer for you!

Lamictal is a serious drug for a serious issue so don't take any chances; check it out thoroughly before you make any decisions!

Blessings to you and yours always, EarthAngel!


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Hello Kay!

Thanks for your question! Again, calling your local Costco will be the only way to give you the price on the medication you are asking for!

Blessings to you and stay well!! EarthAngel!


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Blessings to you Kimberly!

I am so very sorry you had problems with Costco! I too have had my disagreements with several of their departments but found their managers to bend over backwards to resolve whatever the problem was!

I had a Costco employee once tell me something that wasn't true! I was really upset! Turns out the new employee just did not know the answer and instead of checking it out, just told me what I wanted to hear! Needless to say, that employee is no longer with Costco!

It is always good for us as consumers to stand up for our rights and expect to be treated with respect and fairness for our concerns!

Some day I hope to give Costco another try! Ours in California is just amazing and we all love it!

Thank you for your comments and concerns!

Blessings to you and yours always, EarthAngel!


Kimberly 5 years ago

I had a lot of problems with Costco. I could write a book. They try with all their might to get you to buy generic. They will even tell you that they are going to get your med of the shelf and charge you for Brand name, so if you want to pay more for it, that is up to you. When I got the attorney general involved, they denied that they did this. The drug in this case was Prilosec. They said they sell OTC Prilosec and it is the same thing as Brand name only. It is not the same thing. I would never deal with them again.


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Dear Vernice,

I am sorry you are having such a hard time with prescription coverage . . . Yes, it is very expensive and every where we can each save a few dollars helps . . .

Costco is a membership store but you do not need to be a member to take advantage of their great rates . . . (I imagine it is the same for Sam's Club and the other big box stores around the country . . .)

Just call your local Costco and ask them for their prices on the medicines you need . . . They will be happy to give you a quote over the phone . . .

If you like their prices and want to have your prescriptions refilled there then 1) take your new prescription directly to Costco, 2) have your doctor call/fax your prescription in to Costco, or 3) if you are mid-prescription, have your old pharmacy call/fax your prescription to Costco . . .

It helps if you have the Costco pharmacy phone number handy to give to the above . . .

Allow 24-72 hours for the process . . . Call Costco to make sure your prescription is ready to be picked up . . .

When you get to the Costco entrance door in order to pick up your prescription but don't have a Costco Membership card, let the greeter know . . . The greeter will find you an escort to take you directly to the pharmacy . . . The escort will stay with you and once you have your medicines, will walk you back out . . .

Another option for getting prescriptions for much less cost is to contact the pharmacutical company directly . . . Most of the large manufactures of medicines have programs in place to help with costs . . .

If you qualify for their programs, your doctor sends your prescription to the drug company and the drug company sends the doctor back the drugs for you generally for free (or very little cost . . . )

I hope that helps some . . . You will continue to stay in my prayers . . .

Blessings to you and yours . . . Earth Angel . . .


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

vernice (vernicenunez@ymail.com)

has sent you this message.

(email address not verified)

a friend of mine at my job knows that im having a hard time getting my prescription cause they are so expensive how i can get membership with this people how it work yu aint know me but i notice that yu r so popular in this page can yu please help me or xplain this to me ill appreciate if yu can answer me back thanks a lot earth angel


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Hello Claudette!!

GREAT question! I am not aware of any cash discount at Costco if you pay with cash! I only pay with cash and have not heard of any additional discounts! I imagine a local independently owned pharmacy might!

Costco does have a Rewards program if you sign up, use their credit card, and spend over a certain amount! I've never checked into it because I only pay with cash!

May we all stay healthy enough to not need prescriptions! Or, if we do, may they only be minor and not too expensive!!

Blessings always, Earth Angel!


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago Author

Thanks vphomma!

Although I wrote this Hub a long time ago, I still find today that Costco offers the BEST prices on prescriptions by far!!

Thanks for the affirmation!!

Blessings to you and yours!!

Earth Angel!


Claudette 5 years ago

Does Costco give a cash discount if you pay with cash?


vphomma1 profile image

vphomma1 5 years ago

Hi, You're great at nailing the whole prescription deals at Costco. I was a Certified Pharmacy Technician at Costco located in Matthews, North Carolina and I tell people all the time about the tremendous savings but you did the best!


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 6 years ago Author

Hello Karen!!

Yes, the figures I quote above are correct!! Are you a pharmacutical rep?? I would love to learn more if you decide to research it further!!??

Thanks for dropping by!! Please keep me posted!!

Blessings always, Earth Angel!!


Karen Harper 6 years ago

I am amazed about these mark ups as someone who sels medicines and gets a percentage they seem exagerated to me but if they are any way near correct the figures are amazing and I am sure it is a case of simple supply and demand especially for drugs that are considered of narcotic value to users. great hub.


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 6 years ago Author

Hi Marilyn!!

Sorry it's taken me a few days to respond; I've been away from the keyboard!!

I hope by now you have discovered Costco really does offer the BEST prices!! I am just amazed by their buying power!!

Blessings always, Earth Angel!!


marilyn hirsch 6 years ago

I need the prices for some of the RX's my hubby and I take. We are members of Costco and would like to know if it would be more economical to fill our prescriptions at Costco as we shop there very often for most of our food and supplies. thank you.


Leroy 6 years ago

the markups are out of line even considering R&d, you can purchase the generic brand in Canada 10 years before it is available here in the US, the laws in the US are designed to fatten the corporations bottom line nothing else.


donald jackson 6 years ago

I would like a price on Hyzaar 50/12.5-90 day supply


Gerald 6 years ago

Those mark up numbers ignore the hundreds of millions of dollars in R&D cost that it took to invent, conduct clinical trials, and bring the drug to market. It also fails to recognize that for every successful drug there are dozens of failed ones that have to be subsidized by the few winners.

Simply stating the cost of the physical material is not a fair analysis. I don't work for a pharmaceutical company, but given that they have to spend a fortune developing something with no guarantee that they will ever see a penny, when they do make something that benefits people, I don't begrudge them making some money.


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 6 years ago Author

Good Evening JM!!

Thank you for dropping by!! I'm not sure Costco publishes their prices on the Internet because the prices change so much!! Even my one tiny prescription changes prices each month; only by a few cents or a dollar - but it is still a different amount although the medicine is just the same in the same amount!!

I asked the pharmacist recently and she said it depends on what they have been able to negotiate with the manufacture!! The prices are faily level, but not exact!!

I would call your local Costco, if you have one, of Sam's Club, etc. and ask specifically for what you are looking for!! Make sure to be clear about the strength AND whether it is a generic or not!!

Thanks again for stopping by!!

Earth Angel Blessings Always, EA!!


j m edwards 6 years ago

Where do I find the list of the actural prices one would pay for perscription at costco. jeepgram97@aol.com


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 7 years ago Author

I'm sorry I can't help you with your request!! Please feel free to call your local Costco (or equivalent) for pricing!! Often, your local pharmacy will price-match!! I don't even know what percocet is!!?? Good Luck!! Thanks for dropping by!! Blessings always, Earth Angel!!


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 7 years ago Author

Thanks for stopping by Lgali!!

Now more than ever it is important that we become "informed consumers!!" There is nothing "smart" about over-paying for anything, including medications!!

I hope the information was a help!!

Blessings always, Earth Angel!!


Lgali profile image

Lgali 7 years ago

nice info


Alil Nairtcab 8 years ago

Wow, what a deal at Costco. I'm sorry for my confusion, though, but did you buy the brand name or generic at Costco? This might be a big help for a lot of us, especially in those rare cases that the brand name is more effective for one person than the generic.

Thanks for the hub!


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 8 years ago Author

Yes!! Thanks for the comment Isabella!! That is why so many in the US are up in arms about the price of prescriptions when around the world, even next door in Canada and Mexico, the prices are a fraction!! How do those prices stack up to your part of the world?? Blessings, Earth Angel!!


Isabella Snow profile image

Isabella Snow 8 years ago

Gawd, those markups are shameful.

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    A Special Thank You to the Following Major Contributors:

    Professor Eric Salin, Department of Chemistry, McGill University

    Dr. and Mrs. Ruth Salin, Retired

    Sharon L. Davis, Budget Analyst, U.S. Department of Commerce

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