# How can I make sure that I don't pay a copay that is more expensive than over-the-counter when buying drugs in the United States?

I read this comment written by Dilip Sarwate:

It sometimes depends on the circumstances. If your doctor tells you to take one 81mg tablet of aspirin as a countermeasure against future heart attacks, it is not covered. If the doctor prescribes the same medication, it might be covered by health insurance, and the pharmacy will dispense it to you as a prescription drug, but the copay will likely be larger than what the same medication will cost you over the counter.

How can I make sure that I don't pay a copay that isn't more expensive than over-the-counter when buying drugs in the United States?

• Should I simply systematically ask the price of the drug when bought over-the-counter before giving any prescription to the pharmacist?

• Since the price of over-the-counter drugs may greatly vary between pharmacies, should I use some databases such as GoodRx to ensure the cheapest over-the-counter price possible?

• "Should I simply systematically ask the price of the drug when bought over-the-counter before giving any prescription to the pharmacist?" - yes, that. Or if you fulfill your prescriptions online, a simple search will do the same thing. – Joe Strazzere Feb 2 '17 at 17:38
• @JoeStrazzere Thanks. "simple search" --> you mean to look for and compare over-the-counter prices? – Franck Dernoncourt Feb 2 '17 at 17:39
• The online site I use when ordering my prescription drugs makes it easy to find equivalents and compare prices. If your site doesn't then Google can do the same. – Joe Strazzere Feb 2 '17 at 17:40
• @JoeStrazzere Did you choose the online site you use when ordering my prescription drugs? Or is that given by your insurance? – Franck Dernoncourt Feb 2 '17 at 17:51
• It is given by my insurance. – Joe Strazzere Feb 2 '17 at 18:02

• it's a cost vs benefit analysis really. If your copay is $10 for your drugs, it doesn't make a lot of sense to spend the time (bc many OTC are probably between$5-20). If it's \$100, then it's worth the time. – Marshall Tigerus Feb 2 '17 at 17:42