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Study shows you might be paying too much for your prescriptions

Study shows you might be paying too much for your prescriptions

Picking up prescription pills is something many of us rely on, but a new study by the New York Public Interest Research Group shows where you buy those drugs could play a big role in what they cost.

"Different prices they are giving you because that goes according to their own profit margin," Dharmesh Patel said.

Patel has been in the pharmaceutical business for eight years. He says even chain pharmacies will have different prices for the same medications at different locations. Smaller pharmacies will likely charge more because they're buying the same drugs in smaller quantities – so their average wholesale price is higher. Patel suggests shoppers to take that into consideration.

"They always have to shop around. Call independent pharmacies, call chain pharmacies," Patel said.

The study finds the biggest disparity in Syracuse is for the popular heartburn medication Nexium.

The New York State Health Department website shows you can get it for $189.00 at the Target on West Genesee St. or for $349.00 at the Price Chopper on Erie Blvd. if you're paying out of pocket. That's a $160.00 difference.

"People who are carrying insurance they are not supposed to shop around. The reason is that their copay is going to be the same," Patel said.

If you have health insurance, the cost of a prescription is a relatively small co-pay.

Patel says most people he's met have some kind of insurance, but there are many who fall through the cracks.

"It is very hard. There is nothing they can do. Sometimes they end up in the emergency," he said.

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