The Costco Pharmacy is by far one of the best parts of buying a membership from the wholesale giant. But can it really save you money? We think so. Read on to learn all you need to know.
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What Is Costco Pharmacy?
You’ve likely heard of Costco. It’s the place you can buy unnecessary amounts of consumer goods. However, there are other benefits.
Just like Costco’s low-price goods and convenient departments, Costco Pharmacy has many unexpected perks. The best part about the Costco Pharmacy is that it’s often available to non-members.
While this policy varies by location, many states require this by law. In practice, this is virtually everywhere in the United States.
So that means you don’t need a Costco membership to use the pharmacy. Some locations even have a separate entrance for non-members using the pharmacy..
Like most of Costco’s offerings, medications at Costco are priced competitively. Based on a recent Consumer Reports study, Costco bested the following companies in pricing for select generic drugs:
- Sam’s Club
Healthwarehouse.com sold some medications cheaper, but the mail order pharmacy means longer waits to receive your meds. Costco won out of all the walk-in pharmacies when it came to price.
Save Even More With a Membership
Costco members can also take advantage of the Costco Member Prescription Program (CMPP) for more savings. (Sorry, this isn’t available to non members.) CMPP isn’t insurance.
But it offers an added value for members and their dependents to pay lower prices on medications. Members and their dependents who don’t have prescription insurance under 18 are eligible to join.
Members can also join and use the program for prescriptions not covered by their insurance. Those covered by Medicare or Medicaid aren’t eligible, and it can’t work with your insurance’s co-pay.
Savings are up to 80 percent. Costco lists some examples on its site, but the amount of any price reduction is determined at the time of purchase.
Costco is always negotiated with suppliers and manufacturers to offer the best discount! Here are a few examples of the Costco Member Discount prices at time of publication:
Some of these items are not the best prices. For example, Walmart.com sells 50 counts of Bayer Contour NEXT strips for $19.80. Granted, it’s through a third party.
However, other things like the Dexcom G6 receiver costs $844.90 at Total Diabetes Supply, meaning it’s 62% less expensive at Costco.
While most generic drugs are less expensive, make sure to shop around before buying, as not everything is the best value.
Costco Pharmacy Travel Consultation Plan
Going on a trip? Get ready with Costco’s travel immunization program and protect yourself from possible health risks. The travel consultation program offers an evaluation by a qualified travel medicine physician.
They will provide shots and medications needed for your trip. Here’s how to use the program:
- Purchase your full-service travel medicine consultation program for $39.99 at costco.com
- Take a web-based consultation with a travel medicine physician
- Look for an email from SafeGard Travel Medicine with login instructions within one-two hours
- Access SafeGard travel consultation site and submit your medical history for a physician to review
- Wait for an email confirming your travel recommendations have been released to the pharmacy
- Log into SafeGard site to view your personalized travel report
- Hear from your pharmacy to schedule an appointment for your travel shots and medications
Note: The consultation may not be available in select locations in Southern California, Seattle, Idaho, and Oregon.
Auto Refill and Home Delivery Are Easy
Never run out of your meds with Auto Refill. Costco Online Pharmacy will fill and ship your medications to you. Before each refill, you will be sent a confirmation email.
You will have 72 hours to consent to “Yes, Refill Prescription.” Then, that’s it! Prescriptions will be delivered to your door. That said, if you need something faster, Warehouse Pickup is also available at your local Costco.
Save on Pet Medication
You aren’t the only one who can take advantage of Costco’s low-cost medications. Fido can too! You love your pets, so keep them healthy with Costco pharmacy!
Since they technically don’t have insurance, your pets can also take advantage of the Costco Member Prescription Program Discount Card.
You can either 1: Ask your veterinarian to fax or call your pet’s prescription to Costco Pharmacy or 2: Stop by Costco and ask the pharmacy manager to request the prescription for you.
Prescriptions are available on popular meds including:
- Heartgard Plus
Costco Pharmacy Is VIPPS Accredited
Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS) certification accredits trusted pharmacies. Costco is one of them! This means they have passed intense vetting by the National Association of State Boards of Pharmacy.
All accredited pharmacies comply with VIPPS criteria. That covers the customer’s right to privacy, security of prescription orders, a quality assurance policy, and a meaningful consultation between pharmacists and customers.
There Is a Separate Optical Department
On top of Costco pharmacy, members can take advantage of Costco Optical. The optical department staffs trained opticians that are well regarded in the industry.
No wonder Consumer Reports ranks them as the number one place to buy glasses in the US. You can stop by for an optical exam at an Independent Doctor of Optometry, situated in or next to your local pharmacy.
Then, fill your lenses at Costco. The department carries a wide array of contact lenses, brand-name designer frames and sunglasses, and high-def lenses at affordable prices.
Costco Optical accepts most vision insurance programs. The department also carries Kirkland Signature HD progressive lenses. The Costco brand lenses use the latest in lens manufacturing technology.
An anti-reflective treatment process also offers superior scratch resistance. And it’s all at the expected low Costco pricing! In fact, Costco eye exams cost between $75 and $100.
And the average price of glasses is around $180 (according to Consumer Reports). And the savings don’t stop there. If you buy a second prescription pair, you’ll get $30 off.
Should You Shop at Costco Pharmacy?
Like Costco’s deals on groceries, electronics, and travel, Costco Pharmacy offers some of the best prices around. Plus, there are added perks like Travel Consultation and Automatic Refill.
You don’t even need a membership to take advantage of Costco’s competitive prices. That said, members who don’t have insurance or whose insurance doesn’t cover specific medications can use the Costco Membership Prescription Program to save on prescription costs.