Variability in Price of Generic Antipsychotic Medications at Community Pharmacies.Psychiatr Serv. 2020 Jun 24 [Online ahead of print]PS
This study aimed to examine variability in pricing of generic antipsychotic medications in a diverse metropolitan area and to determine whether prices varied by pharmacy type.
A cross-sectional survey was conducted of pharmacy-level variability in retail cash prices for a 30-day supply of one first-generation and five generically available second-generation antipsychotic medications at community pharmacies in the Kansas City metropolitan area. All community pharmacies in the area were identified (N=281), and 94% (N=265, with 147 in Missouri and 118 in Kansas) responded to phone queries between April 25 and May 25, 2017, requesting the cash price of a 30-day supply of each of the six antipsychotics. All included pharmacies were categorized as a nationwide chain (N=182), grocery store (N=53), or independent pharmacy (N=30).
Retail cash prices varied for all antipsychotic medications, with significant differences in price by pharmacy type. Price variation across all pharmacy types was lowest for haloperidol ($20-$102.99) and highest for aripiprazole ($29.99-$1,345.00). Pairwise comparisons showed that chain pharmacies had higher prices, compared with independent pharmacies, for all medications except haloperidol. Overall, chain pharmacies had the highest prices, with prices at grocery store pharmacies averaging $180 lower than chain pharmacies, and independent pharmacies averaging $415 lower than chain pharmacies.
This report is the first on pharmacy-level variability in the costs of generic antipsychotic treatment options for schizophrenia. Appreciable differences were found in the costs of generic antipsychotics. Understanding variability in antipsychotic pricing may be important for providers serving uninsured patients.