How Costco Pharmacy Can Save You 9 or More a Year

How Costco Pharmacy Can Save You $739 or More a Year

If you’re struggling with out-of-pocket health care costs, saving money on prescription drugs can be a great way to improve your personal finances. Fortunately, Costco isn’t just a great place to buy hot dogs — Costco Pharmacy offers big savings on prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Depending on your health care spending, the drugstore savings alone may make it worth signing up for a Costco membership.

Let’s take a look at some popular prescription and OTC drugs that get big discounts at Costco — and see how much you could save in a year.

Costco discounts on five common prescriptions

We’ve checked the prices of some of the most common prescription drugs to see how much you can save at Costco Pharmacy. Depending on how many medications your family takes, you can quickly recoup the cost of your Costco membership!

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1. Atorvastatin Calcium (generic of Lipitor)

This statin drug is used to treat high cholesterol. Costco offers a pack of 30 tablets (20 mg each) for $7.99, compared to $19.79 at the local competitor’s highest price.

Costco savings: $11.80 per month

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2. Celecoxib (generic of Celebrex)

This medicine treats pain, inflammation, and arthritis. Costco offers 30 tablets (200 mg each) for $12.79, compared to $27.99 at the highest-priced drugstore in the area.

Costco savings: $15.20 per month

3. Fluoxetine HCL (generic of Prozac)

This SSRI medication treats anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Costco offers 30 capsules (20 mg each) for $8.79, compared to $20.99 at the local drugstore’s highest price.

Costco savings: $12.20 per month

4. Lisinopril (generic of Zestril)

This drug treats high blood pressure and heart failure, and helps prevent further damage after a heart attack. Costco offers 30 tablets (20 mg each) for $5.99, compared to $15.79 at the local pharmacy’s highest price.

Costco savings: $9.80 per month

5. Tamsulosin HCL (generic of Flomax)

This medicine treats the symptoms of an enlarged prostate by relaxing the muscles of the prostate and bladder. Costco offers 30 capsules (0.4 mg each) for $6.79, compared to $16.79 at the local pharmacy’s highest price.

Costco savings: $10 per month

Note: Pharmacy prices may vary by location and dosage strength. All cost comparisons are for 30 tablets/capsules per month, which says 30 doses per month. The Costco website lists these prices as of January 25, 2024, for my local Costco Pharmacy in West Des Moines, Iowa.

Costco’s biggest savings on over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.

Costco also offers deals and discounts on over-the-counter medications. Here are some online prices I found (as of Jan. 25, 2024, in West Des Moines, Iowa) for some of these popular types of pain relievers, allergy medications, and other non prescription drugs.

Advil Ibuprofen

Costco offers great discounts on this popular pain reliever and fever reducer. You can get a large bottle of 360 tablets (200 mg) for $24.99 — or about $0.07 per tablet. Walgreens offers a bottle of 100 tablets for $9.99, or about $0.10 per tablet. That means buying the same amount of tablets at Walgreens will cost you about $36.

Costco savings: $11.01 per year (hopefully 360 Advil tablets will last your family at least 1 year)

Benadryl Ultratabs® Antihistamine Allergy Medicine

Get ready for spring allergy season with 200 Benadryl tablets (25 mg each) for $26.99 at Costco — about $0.14 per tablet. Walgreens offers 100 Benadryl tablets for $19.99, or about $0.20 per tablet. That means the same amount of Benadryl at Walgreens will cost you about $39.98.

Costco savings: $12.99 per year (assuming 200 pills will get you through a year of allergies)

TUMS Antacid Ultra Strength

Relieve heartburn, acid indigestion, and upset stomach with this versatile bottle of TUMS. Costco offers 265 chewable tablets for $13.99, about $0.05 per tablet. Walgreens has the same product in a pack of 160 tablets for $13.49, or about $0.08 per tablet. This means that 265 TUMS tablets at Walgreens will cost about $21.20.

Savings at Costco: $7.21 per year (if you need more antacid medication than this in a year, you may want to talk to a doctor)

Don’t forget: These are the savings at Costco you can find by buying OTC drugs in bulk. Costco also offers better deals on Kirkland private label drugs. However, I can’t get online pricing for these Kirkland products — you’ll have to go to Costco to see local prices in your area.

Fun fact: Costco also offers pet treats! Costco offers discounts of 40% or more on prescriptions for your pet.

How much can you save at Costco Pharmacy?

If you buy all the drugs featured in this article, here’s how much you’ll save at Costco Pharmacy in a year:

DRUGS

Costco Savings Every Year

Atorvastatin Calcium (generic of Lipitor)

$141.60

Celecoxib (generic of Celebrex)

$182.40

Fluoxetine HCL (generic of Prozac)

$146.40

Lisinopril (generic of Zestril)

$117.60

Tamsulosin HCL (generic of Flomax)

$120.00

Advil Ibuprofen

$11.01

Benadryl Ultratabs® Antihistamine Allergy Medicine

$12.99

TUMS Antacid Ultra Strength

$7.21

TOTAL Annual Savings with Costco

$739.21

Source: Author’s calculations based on local Des Moines, Iowa prices listed on Costco and Walgreens websites as of January 25, 2024

Bottom line: Based on our calculations, buying five common prescription drugs and three popular over-the-counter drugs at Costco could save you about $739 a year. You can save even more on your prescriptions or Costco’s private-label Kirkland brand over-the-counter medications. Saving money at Costco will help improve your health and financial well-being in 2024.

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