Top 5 signs you're overpaying for your prescription

At the counter of traditional retail pharmacies, pharmacists hear it all. Many customers are shocked by the price of their medications.

“Why is my copay so high? I thought I met my deductible? Is this the doctor’s office?”

No, it’s not the doctor’s office.

But when it comes to the cost of your prescriptions, if you’re wondering even just a little bit whether or not you’re overpaying, you probably are. 

According to a recent study conducted by the University of Southern California, nearly 1 in 4 prescriptions processed had an overpayment of over $7. The majority of these overpayments were for generic prescriptions. The study had a sample size of 9 million prescriptions—that’s a total lifetime overpayment amount of $135 million. 

$135 million! For 9 million prescriptions! Do you know how many prescriptions were filled in 2017 alone? 4 Billion. Do the math.

Actually please don’t, you won’t like the number because that’s a whole lot of money taken from our pockets. 

Why are these overpayments happening? Clawbacks. 

Here’s a great graphic from Jared Hopkins of, that shows just how Clawbacks work:

So are you overpaying for your generic prescriptions? Well here are the symptoms to look out for:

1. You only want to take half your pills just to make them last longer.

This is a very common way to save money on your prescriptions. Your doctor can prescribe a higher dose, and you can cut it in half. But please consult your doctor and pharmacist before you do so, because not all medications can be cut in half and have the same efficacy. 

2. You ask “How much is it?” every time you go to pay at the pharmacy counter.

Is this you? If it is, don’t feel bad at all. You’re clearly not the only one getting a bad deal on your meds. 

3. You say “I thought I met my deductible?”

High deductible plans are on the rise, with deductibles as high as a used car sometimes, it’s no wonder people like you are unaware. Keeping consumers in the dark is benefiting someone’s pockets. 

4. The pharmacist or clerk is apologizing when they’re ringing you up.

She tilts her head a little, and you hear the pity in her voice. Quick, ask her what the cash price is for your medication! 

5.  Your copay is $10 or more every dang time… sorry your insurance sucks.   

Enough said.

So how do you get rid of your nasty case of clawbacks? Ask. Yup it’s that easy. Ask the pharmacist if you can get a better price without insurance. Most times, they will be happy to tell you! 

Or, switch to Honeybee. Since we don’t work with insurance, we charge the real cost of the medicine, not some ridiculously overpriced “copay.” You can always compare against our wholesale pricing to make sure you’re getting the best deal.  

Stop overpaying for your prescriptions, ask questions, compare your pricing, and shop smarter! And no, this is not the doctor’s office!

• • •

Peter Wang
Peter Wang

Peter is a pharmacy technician and co-founder of Honeybee. Peter enjoys a great bad joke almost as much as revolutionizing the healthcare industry. Almost.

Dr. Jessica Nouhavandi