PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Fewer people are paying out-of-pocket for prescription drugs these days.

For some, price is one consideration when choosing a pharmacy. For others, good, quick service is important, too, especially when you’re sick.

A new Consumer Reports survey of more than 40,000 people helped to find the best places to get your prescriptions filled.

“While most people were satisfied with their pharmacy, Walmart was at the bottom of our ratings. Our readers complained of a lack of personal service and long waits,” Kim Kleman with Consumer Reprots said.

The big drugstore chains like Walgreens and CVS didn’t fare much better.

“Fifteen percent of those who shopped at chain stores complained that within the past year, their prescriptions weren’t always ready when they were promised,” Kleman said.

Service was far better at independent pharmacies, as well as two independently owned franchises – Health Mart and the Medicine Shoppe.

Customers cited faster service and said the independents were much more likely to have medications ready for pickup when promised.

However, a Consumer Reports’ price check found that independents can cost you more money.

“If you’re taking a generic drug, you can save money at big retailers and chains. For generics, they charge as little as $10 for a three-month supply,” Kleman said.

For brand-name drugs, Consumer Reports found the cheapest prices at reputable online retailers such as HealthWarehouse.com and FamilyMeds.com.

For example, Nexium cost $172 for a month’s supply at Health Warehouse compared with $230 at CVS.

Consumer Reports said many grocery store pharmacies did almost as well in customer satisfaction as independents did.

Many of those pharmacies have frequent-shopper discounts and provide health screenings, vaccinations and free antibiotics.

However, Consumer Reports found customers at some grocery stores including Giant Eagle were more likely than others to experience long waits at the service counter.


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