Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Loyalty

Not much in the way of loyalty around now. Work place loyalty seems to be history.

I like to be loyal though, but only up to a point. I was loyal to a Glen Iris service station for many years because they served me for petrol and maintained my car well, so I did not mind paying a bit more for petrol from their pumps.

I have used our local chemist across the road almost from the day we moved here. We have a relationship. I am the customer and they serve me well.

But recently R was told by a workmate about a prescription medication that they both take and is available for a decent bit less at Chemist Warehouse. I went in one day and checked for him, and sure enough, a good saving.

I spend $83 per month on prescription medicine (so much for free health care) so I thought I better check my medications at Chemist Warehouse. They have a very easy to use online price and brand comparison facility. Just look for the pharmacy tab. I can reduce my prescription cost down to $54, a saving of $29. 29 x 12 is nearly $350 per year saving.

I like to be a loyal customer, but sorry, I can't afford to be that loyal. I expect to pay more at the chemist because I get premium service, but the gap is too large.

As an aside, in the middle of the year I asked our chemist about the prescription threshold, which once passed, you get your medications at a much reduced price. I did not meet the threshold and I must have looked disappointed. The chemist said to me, 'It is not something to aspire to you know Andrew'.

18 comments:

  1. I first reached the safety net around 2004 when I contracted whooping cough and was prescribed additional medication for months until it cleared.

    I must have been close though without it because I have hit the safety net every year since usually around September so that last my three months of medication comes at the cheaper rate (around 1/5th of the usual cost).

    I've never sat down to compare the options (ie pay less monthly and not reach the safety net or pay more for nine months and then the discounted rate for the remainder). I suppose should I get to the point where I reach the safety net earlier in the year it could eventually work out cheaper in the long run to continue to use the more expensive chemist.

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  2. My monthly pre-payment prescription is all that stands between me and complete destruction. I'm thinking of moving to Scotland where prescriptions are free.

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  3. My father is on 18-20 diff meds daily but still hasn't reached the safety net.
    Chemist Warehouse has saved us a lot, too.

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  4. Anonymous4:35 pm

    My script costs me less in the city at my chemist than in the burbs! go figure!

    I save about 100 bucks a year on my meds..

    Michelle

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  5. Interesting point Victor. Some people seem to be experts as getting their maximum from the system. Just last week Mother had to buy her meds before a certain day as money would be saved.

    You have to pay too Brian?

    Surprises me Jayne. Of course it is a much lower threshold for oldies.

    Not insignificant Michelle. Have a look at Chemist Warehouse and see what you come up with.

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  6. The safety net works on expenditure over the calendar year so like me your mother would have been looking to fit in as many prescriptions by 31 December as she is allowed before the prices go back to PBS level on 1 January.

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  7. Anonymous2:49 am

    My patients take pride in reaching the safety net... well, you know... the safety net comes as number two conversation starter. Number two to the number one conversation starter... "Have you had a bowel motion today?" Yep, got that right! haha
    Cazzie

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  8. Big Pharma.
    Big Profits.
    I am convinced that medications are behind the First World Obesity epidemic.

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  9. Ah, I see Victor.

    Are they really that interested in their motions Cazzie?

    Certainly indirectly Ann. Don't bother with lifestyle changes, just pop a pill.

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  10. Is there a 'best of both worlds' option - visit the local Chemist, tell them you'd like to be loyal, and ask if there are any options for savings you haven't explored. A compromise might be better for them than losing at least ~$1000 p.a. from meds? Presumably you also get stuff other than meds from there??

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  11. Red, we do buy other stuff there, but not much. I am not sure I am brave to front them like that. Dammit girlfriend, I will. Expect another post about it.

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  12. Anonymous8:57 pm

    Andrew
    My chemist and chemist warehouse for me are the same price, so much of a muchness, but city is easier for me during the week cause of work :S

    Michelle

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  13. Anonymous8:57 pm

    Andrew
    My chemist and chemist warehouse for me are the same price, so much of a muchness, but city is easier for me during the week cause of work :S

    Michelle

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  14. Michelle, having a vague idea of the area where you live, I expect because of where I live, I pay premium prices at the chemist. Not meaning anything other that I know around here we pay premium prices for everything. The market can wear the high costs.

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  15. Anonymous1:48 am

    Yes, they sure are that interested in their motions Andrew.. I shit you not :)
    Cazzie

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  16. I'm terrible, I never take notice of what I pay. But I only have 2 pills to pop so it's not too bad.

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  17. I only take three Fen. It is worth checking out.

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  18. I don't have a chemist warehouse near me and I'm too lazy to search one out. :P

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Whenever I wish I was young again, I am sobered by memories of algebra.