Finding the lowest prices on drugs

In the Philippines and in the USA and most probably, in other countries as well, there are websites that promote “finding the lowest prices on drugs.”

See samples below.


doh price watch



People are concerned with high prices of drugs in some drugstores.  They look for drugstores which offer lowest or lower prices.

Related to the search for drugstores which offer lowest or lower prices, people look for drugs which contain the same active ingredients with the lowest or lower prices.

Generic drugs is a case in point.  Generic drugs contain the same active ingredients as the branded medicines and they carry lower prices.

Another situation – generic drugs with the same active ingredients can also differ in prices.  Case in point: Tamoxifen as active ingredient.  Sunfen costs P17.00 per tab. Entax-20 costs P19.50 per tab.  Xifen costs P24.50 per tab.  Gyraxen costs P28.25 per tab.   Fenalex costs P32.00 per tab.  Novaldex (the innovator drug) cost P32.25 per tab.  (Mercury prices as of July 9, 2017 – supplied by a patient using tamoxifen).

Here are some tips from DOH Drug Price Watch:

5 Tips to get the best value for your money

1. Avail your medicines only from FDA-licensed pharmacies. Check for the License to Operate (LTO) issued by the FDA. This should be posted conspicuously in the pharmacy to be readily seen by consumers. Apart from big chain pharmacies, there are also Public Hospital Pharmacies and other independent drugstores which may offer cheaper generics alternatives. It pays to compare prices across drugstores near you.

2. Discuss your treatment options with your doctor. Doctors sometimes prescribe medicines without regard to a patient’s ability to pay. It is important to discuss with your doctor how much is your budget for your medications especially those that you should take for an extended period of time. Do not hesitate to ask if the medicine has a generic counterpart. Wise use of money will help in the completion of your treatment regimen.

3. Always ask for generics. Generic medicines should contain the same active ingredients as that of branded medicines. FDA already looks at the quality of medicines before they are approved to be marketed in the country. Thus generics should have the same quality as the branded ones. Choosing generic medicines can save you as much as 90% off the brand-name price tag.

4. Follow the treatment regimen given by your doctor. Take your medication as instructed by the health provider. In cases of missed dose, take the medicine as soon as you remember it. Not completing your drug regimen decreases the efficacy of treatment, worsens your illness and leads to waste of money.

5. Report any problems with your medicine to the FDA. For any unusual reaction experienced after taking your medicine, call the doctor immediately and notify the FDA through its hotline number: (02)8078275. Make sure to keep a sample of the medicine for evaluation by the FDA.


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