The fact is, for the best deals on drugs (as well as many other items), your best bet is definitely not your drugstore but rather “big box” stores and regular grocery stores instead. While the fact is that most modern drugstores now carry everything from aspirin to cards, food, toys and even tools, it’s very infrequent that they offer cheaper prices than grocery stores and big box stores like Wal-Mart and Target, including on the drugs that they sell.
Of course drugstore prices can vary widely from one franchise to another and can even very from one store in the same chain to another. Also, most of today’s drug stores carry some items that are almost always cheaper than at big-box or grocery stores and many of them offer all sorts of great deals to their repeat shoppers. But these few items and great deals don’t mean that you should use a drugstore as the main place to do the majority of your shopping. Indeed, when it comes to drugs they might not be the best place at all as, according to a study released by Consumer Reports magazine in 2013, their prices on many “big name” drugs were much higher and even their prices for over-the-counter medications like Aleve, Motrin and Advil were higher than big-box stores like target and grocery stores like Publix, ShopRite and Kroger.
What Consumer Reports found was that, on five of the biggest drugs that have recently become available as generic, drugstores were definitely the most expensive places to buy them. This includes the drug Actos for diabetes, Lexapro the antidepressant, Lipitor for high cholesterol, the blood thinner Plavix, and Singulair for asthma. In fact, they found that the cheapest place to buy drugs was Costco while CVS was the highest and Rite-Aid came in right behind them at second. Walgreens was also more expensive than Kmart, Wal-Mart or Costco.
So while drugstores like Walgreens, Rite-Aid and CVS might offer something in the way of convenience, they definitely are not a place that you want to go on any regular basis, especially if you have a lot of shopping to do. Your best bet for drugs as well as food, toys, household goods and the hundreds of other items that you can find there is simply at your neighborhood grocery store or your big-box store like Target, Wal-Mart and Costco.